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Interview with O'Neill Finalist Charlotte Higgins

15 Jul 2019 6:14 PM | Jessie Salsbury (Administrator)

Photo of Charlotte Higgins photo, provided by C. Higgins herself


How did it feel to be awarded as a finalist in the 2019 O'Neill conference for CRAZY BETTY? Was this the first time you had submitted to the O'Neill conference? 

I was stunned when I got the email that I was an O’Neill semi-finalist and then got the next email that I was a finalist (67 out of more than 1400 submissions).

It was absolutely thrilling to be acknowledged by the O’Neill, which is such a prestigious and competitive playwriting conference. It was my first submission to them. I had had a New York reading of CRAZY BETTY, which went very well, and afterwards a playwright friend urged me to submit it to the O’Neill, which had never occurred to me.

CRAZY BETTY was only my second full-length play after years of writing and performing monologues and prose. It seemed a bit audacious, but I am obviously glad I did it.


CRAZY BETTY has been a semifinalist in Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Bechdel Test Festival, and Austin Film and Writers Conference. Would you submit to them again?  Any feedback on these festival awards or conferences? 

I had submitted before to the Bay Area Playwrights Festival and CRAZY BETTY was my second time as a semi-finalist.  Having worked in the Bay Area for a long time, I was very familiar with the BAPF and its people, and the way they create a  supportive “family” for their playwrights. 

It’s a very creative, nurturing environment.  I will continue to submit my work to them.  The Austin Conference and Bechdel Test were very nice validations of my work, and I will submit my work to them again.


What is next for CRAZY BETTY in its development? 

CRAZY BETTY is out there in the world now, being read by numerous artistic directors, directors and other theater people.  Obviously, I hope to see Betty and her friends on the stage soon. 


Are you currently working on any other submissions, writing, or productions at this time? 

Although writing is my passion, submitting my work is an essential part of the process as a playwright.  So I make time for both.  Right now I am preparing to go back to NYC because my short play “Mama Won’t Stay Dead” is being presented in the 44th Annual Samuel French Off Off Broadway Short Play Festival in August -- another wonderful opportunity and honor. 

I am working on revising a new play, “Speak Ill of the Dead” and have submitted the work to various play development opportunities (it was selected as a finalist for Berkeley Rep’s The Ground Floor development program). 

I also have begun a new work about five women caregivers gone bad – it’s irreverent, profane, darkly humorous and poignant (I hope).  I think I am in the throes of my golden age of creativity and trying to take it in and savor it.

My work is on the NPX and I also have a website:  charlottehigginsplaywright.com.


#charlottehiggins #icwp #newplayexchange #newworks #crazybetty #oneill #jessiesalsbury #womenplaywrights #womenInTheatre #theatre

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