Eva Suter is the 2013 recipient of The Oregon Literary Fellowship for Drama . Suter writes and/or directs projects for the Working Theatre Collective, where she directed 20 Erotic Shorts and wrote a trilogy of plays about unfortunate Greek women. She was awarded a Portland Drammy for her play Medusa. Eva’s works have been produced at places such as Bellingham, Washington’s Idiom Theatre and Northwest Playwright’s Alliance.
Suter was kind enough to answer several of our questions about her creative process and being a fellowship recipient.
1. What are your sources of inspiration?
A lot of things. Bits of new articles. Stories I heard once at a party or from when I was a kid. Movies I don’t remember seeing. Sometimes a voice starts talking to you, and you just have to listen and find out who/what they are.
2. How would you describe your creative process?
One part feeling awesome and guided by a glowing light. Fifteen parts banging one’s head on an unseen wall.
3. What is most exciting about receiving a fellowship?
Knowing exactly what it goes to. Exactly which project. The
excitement of the permission to focus on just that, if only for a time.
4. What are you currently working on?
A play about family and the orbits of celestial bodies. A collaborative piece about the death of shopping malls. A series of fairytale-ish poems about a fictionalized version of a city I used to live in. A short play about action movies. Something about alleys. Other things. Grad school.
5. What advice do you have for future applicants?
Apply. Just do. And do it again. There are precisely zero reasons not to.
2013 OLF Judge Brian Freeman had this to say about Suter’s work:
“Eva Suter’s play Medusa is a contemporary retelling of the Medusa myth. Like some of the work of Luis Alfaro (Oedipus El Rey, Electricidad, Bruja), Suter’s poetic drama flips the classical Greek myth into a recognizable modern setting both to make the mythology very human and the mundane mythic. Suter’s present-day Medusa is a young shopgirl who meets Poseidon in a casual way; the agora—the central marketplace of ancient Greece—is reframed as a suburban mall, and the one-named mythic monster may in our age be some version of the one-named celebrity—Cher, Madonna… The young Gorgon starts out her life as ordinary—we are told she is born into a family of monsters…but the play interrogates that idea—who is a monster? “Ten fingers, ten toes?
Displaying an original lyrical voice, Suter uses the Chorus both to comment on the action and to participate in the story; the Chorus, speaking with a contemporary sensibility, has a haunting effect:
Medusa takes the bus to work
pulls her long silver hair
back into a pony tail
it’s a hot day, the bus smells damp
with the sweat of strangers.
Someday she’ll be beyond this
her name in bright lights
soon soon soon.
Eva Suter is a gifted young dramatist, with a poetic, compelling voice. I hope the fellowship encourages her growth and development as a playwright.”
Completed applications for the 2014 Oregon Literary Fellowships are due to Literary Arts by Friday, June 28, 2013. Fellowships are awarded to Oregon residents in poetry, fiction, literary nonfiction, drama and young readers literature. Fellowships are also awarded to publishers. Applications and guidelines are available at https://literary-arts.org/oba-home/apply/fellowships, or by contacting Susan Denning at firstname.lastname@example.org.