Meet Playwright Rachel Bublitz, author of Funny, Like An Abortion

CPT: What are some of your other interests when you’re not writing?

Rachel Bublitz: My kids are 14 and 16 years old, so it’s a nice age. I was thinking, man, they both do a lot of sports, so a lot of my job is taking them from one activity to another activity. My son swims and so recently I just became a swim official.

CPT: When did you start writing plays and what made you start writing them?

RB: My dad took me to the opera, and I started as an actor and directing in high school. I always thought I would try writing eventually since I was about 9 or 10. I’ve kept journals and I’m pretty dedicated to filling them, so I just thought, “oh, this can’t be that hard” and then it was very hard, but it was hard in a way that was really fulfilling and now I’ve been writing for over 10 Years

CPT: Who are some playwrights you admire (past or present)?

RB: Paula Vogel, Rachel Lynett and Charlie Evon Simpson.

CPT: What does having your work produced at Cleveland Public Theatre mean to you?

RB: I’ve been talking with Raymond since say 2018 when I sent my first play to Cleveland Public. Unlike most theaters when there’s a call for plays or a theater has an open call and just says ,“we’re looking for “X”. If you have something, send it to us,” and then you never hear anything. Sometimes you get rejections but usually if you do get a rejection, it’s like a form rejection saying “Thank you, playwright, for submitting.  We got 500 scripts, and they were all so good. Please submit again in the future.” Something that I really appreciated off the bat was that I was told CPT’s mission statement and asked to “tell us how your play fits.”  So it made the process of submitting to where I had to think of like, oh, this is how my play fits. I wish more theaters did this. I sent the play in and four months later, Raymond actually emailed me back.  He said “I think your play is really great.  No, we can’t do it, but please keep sending in your work.” So, it was not a form letter because he mentioned parts of my play that he really appreciated, and he was just super honest.

CPT: How has the National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere been beneficial to you?

RB: I had another play that was produced in 2022 and it had a bunch of people interested in it, so when I got that connection (NNPN). I was like “everybody come out let’s do this.” We just didn’t have enough time to let get everyone before the first production happened, but it did get me thinking like how to start the conversation earlier if the opportunity ever presented itself again, because it’s something that I’ve wanted since 2015. Mile Square Theatre in Hoboken emailed me first about producing the play. Raymond emailed me the next day and I was like “okay how do I keep both productions and ask to see if anyone’s interested in a rolling roll premiere and not accidentally lose this opportunity because it’s hard to ask.”  I think as artists it’s rare that someone says “yes” so when you get that “yes”, I feel like I don’t want to do anything to mess it up, and so asking, “hey do you want to explore this?” what if somebody said “no.” Raymond came in and emailed everybody and got one (a theater) so quickly so the third production will be in Austin, Texas in September 2024.

CPT: How would you describe your characters Monroe and Jade as individuals?

RB: They live for each other.

CPT: What do you want audiences to take away from the play?

RB: The play to me is a call to action and it’s for people who already are probably more inclined to want freedom for all healthcare and access. I do think under the right circumstances you could bring somebody who disagreed, and they might see something that makes them question. It’s not yelling that “this is the way.” This is a human being, and these are human being problems.

CPT: What advice to you have for new playwrights?

RB: See lots of plays and have lots of experiences.

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