Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A Day in the Life of a Plains Playwright

Catherine Trieschmann is one of the only professional playwrights we know who is living—and writing—full-time in Kansas. The author of How the World Began—now enjoying its world premiere—is not only a full-time writer, but also a mother of two.  After living in New York and Washington, D.C., Catherine left for Hays, Kansas, in 2006, after her husband got a position teaching philosophy at the local university. We asked Catherine to chronicle a typical day in her life in Kansas—writing, children and all.

Baby on the Plains.  Martha, age 1.
8 a.m.
Wake up in an attic bedroom in our 1910 cottage in need of much renovation. Stumble down the stairs and get Sophie (age 4) and Martha (age 1) fed and dressed.

9 a.m.
Ignore the kids while I check e-mail and slurp down coffee while sitting at my grandmother's old dining table.

9:30 a.m.
Return any urgent phone calls from my agent, directors and producers.

Sophie, age 4, on the jungle gym
under the prairie sky.
10 a.m.
Out the door with the girls to the library, museum, park or somewhere similar, hopefully to meet up with other Moms so I don't feel so alone in the world. They think I'm a little strange, what with this playwriting career and all, but they tolerate my eccentricities well enough.

11 a.m.
Feed everyone lunch—usually out of a box.

12 p.m.
Drop Sophie off at O'Loughlin Elementary School for pre-school. Put Martha down for a nap in her crib.

12-2:45 p.m.
Ignore the dirty dishes, pile of laundry, unanswered e-mails and WRITE.

3 p.m.
Pick up Sophie from pre-school.

The first old house we renovated in Hays.
3:30 p.m.
Drop the girls off at the daycare at my gym and swim laps.

Weed the garden.
Return phone calls.

5 p.m.
Make dinner, preferably un-boxed, preferably with vegetables from our big garden, while the girls entertain themselves by dancing, drawing, climbing on things and pulling out all of the pots and pans from the kitchen shelves.

6 p.m.
Eat dinner with the whole family.

Winter on the Plains.  Catherine and Sophie
bundled up in the snow.

6:30 p.m.

Wash the dishes, while my husband and the girls pick up the house. (This is great thinking time.)

7 p.m.
Take everyone to the park across the street, where we swing on the swing set under the big sky. If it's too cold, we'll build a fire and horse around the living room.

8 p.m.
Put Martha to bed. Read to Sophie—Victorian poetry and Pippi Longstocking at the moment.

9 p.m.
While my husband puts Sophie to bed, meet a director for a phone date.

10 p.m.
Answer some of those unanswered emails.

10:30 p.m.
Read scripts and/or research until I fall asleep.

1 comment:

  1. /we loved this play! I came very close to losing it completely when the crux of the kid's problems came at the very end. The cast is impeccable and I wouldn't have missed it for anything.