THE FOSSIL RECORD: An Interview with Playwright and Director Lisa Hall
Updated: Feb 7, 2022
Hello Dear Reader!
Excitement is buzzing here at AOTC as we grow closer and closer to opening night for The Fossil Record! Lisa Hall, playwright and director for Fossil Record, shared a few of her thoughts and experiences while working on this piece. You can read her interview below.
First, a brief synopsis of The Fossil Record:
After a long absence, Laurie returns home to take care of her ailing mother, Margaret. The tenuous balance is shattered when Laurie makes a grisly discovery in the home: the hidden, long-dead remains of three infants. Laurie must decide when (or whether) she should call the police or confront her mother, and how a history of substance abuse and abandonment might explain the horrifying discovery. In a moment of reckoning Margaret claims the infants were stillborn, and they must tell the authorities. In the end, the truth of the infants is revealed to those who have remained through the destruction.
Q: Hello there! Tell us a little about yourself!
A: My name is Lisa Hall (she/her) and I am a professor/writer/director, currently an Associate Professor of Theatre at UVU and freelance director and writer. I have a BA in Drama Performance from San Francisco State University, an MA in Creative Writing/Playwriting from Boston University, and a PhD in Theatre History and Criticism from the University of Colorado, Boulder.
Q: What projects are you currently working on?
A: In terms of directing, just Fossil Record. I have a new musical in development along with the incomparable composer Alec Powell, as well as a book about immersive theatre set to publish late in 2022.
Q: What kinds of stories are you drawn to?
A: I think the common denominator is that I am drawn to stories of dynamic humans facing complex conflicts.
Q: What playwrights (and/or other theatre practitioners) have inspired you? What influence have they had on your work?
A: So, so many. I watch the work of my local colleagues and am a bit of a magpie; I collect inspiration from all of them and from so many professional artists. I read plays all the time and find little bits of interest through all of them.
Q: What inspired The Fossil Record?
A: This play has a pretty clear origin story. I read a news article about a woman in England named Bernadette Quirk. I was fascinated by her story and wrote the play loosely based on this idea: what would the family do when finding out devastating information/ How would they navigate something so complex?
Q: How did The Fossil Record come to be?