74. INTERVIEW: Deborah Yarchun

Hello listeners! We are so excited for you to listen to this new episode of Beckett’s Babies! We had an amazing conversation discussing all-things playwriting with fellow Iowa playwright DEBORAH YARCHUN!

Deborah Yarchun’s honors include two Jerome Fellowships at the Playwrights’ Center, a Dramatists Guild Foundation Fellowship, the 2020 Neukom Literary Arts Award for Playwriting, an EST/Sloan Commission, the Kennedy Center’s Jean Kennedy Smith Playwriting Award, and the Kernodle New Play Award. She’s been a playwright-in-residence at the William Inge Center for the Arts and a member of the Civilians’ R&D Group. Deborah’s a graduate of the Iowa Playwrights Workshop where she was an Iowa Arts Fellow.


Deborah also shared with us her favorite playwriting exercise! Be sure to check it out below!

Sarah – Andy Warhol’s 25 Cats Name Sam and One Blue Pussy
Sam – Spaulding’s Rock
Deborah – HBO’s Lovecraft Country

To learn more about Deborah and her work, be sure to check out the following websites:
Website: www.DeborahYarchun.com
NPX page: newplayexchange.org/users/114/deborah-yarchun

Be sure to check out Deborah’s article “Staying Focused in the Time of COVID: 22 Tips and Strategies to Finding Focus” on the Playwright Center website:

I adapted this exercise from Young Playwrights’ Inc, an organization I had the honor of being supported by as a young playwright.

Write a monologue from the perspective of an inanimate object. In this monologue, the object should voice what it wants. When you’re writing the monologue don’t say the name of the object; let the reader or audience guess what they are based on how they speak and what they have to say.

You’d be really surprised what comes up and the type of characters and desperate needs that can pop out of that; how lonely a frozen water bottle can be. It can lead to fascinating characters that if you choose to – you can make into human characters. I also find it’s a really great way to teach how much character is tied up with language.


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Send us your questions or thoughts on playwriting and we might discuss it in our next episode.
Email: contact@beckettsbabies.com
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