Celebrating the members of the League of Professional Theatre Women

Elaine Smith

Elaine Smith, member of the League of Professional Theatre WomenWriter, Actor, Director
Florida and New York, USA

Where do you look for inspiration?
People, places, plays and privacy

What’s your favorite book /
To Kill a Mockingbird

favorite movie /
Too many to choose

favorite line from a play /
I’ve never been sure I am remembering with absolute accuracy, and may Tom Stoppard forgive me if I’ve got it wrong:

Will you be a poet, or a scholar?
I don’t mind
Oh, it helps to mind. Life is in the minding.  — The Invention of Love

favorite pop culture guilty pleasure /
Way too much TV

favorite cocktail /
Not much of a drinker – but, sadly, I never turn down a chip or a cheese doodle

What play or production changed your life?
What play didn’t? Isn’t that why we do this?

If I had to narrow it down, I would say getting the lead in my kindergarten class play because I was the only kid who could remember the lines was definitely an inciting incident. Now, all I can remember is that it was something about Candyland. Having the opportunities to play Emily Dickinson in The Belle of Amherst, Jessie in ‘night, Mother, Carole Cutrere in Orpheus Descending exposed me to the joy and terror of great roles with great writing. Seeing Tina Landau’s Orestes forever changed my view of directing. And the first play I wrote – when I discovered that miracles can happen, risks pay off and it’s worth asking for what you want—because actress Linda Hamilton so generously (and brilliantly!) participated in a reading, thus totally altering pretty much everything in my theatrical life.

Is there anything you still dream of doing?
Learning to play the piano
Learning to draw
Learning to cook
Learning. . . .

I feel most like myself when I ….
Am in a theatre – working or watching

What is your best escape?
A good book. A good play. A good movie. A good friend.

What’s the one thing nobody knows about you?
If I told, it wouldn’t be something nobody knows. And every character should have a secret.

Elaine Smith is an actor, director and award-winning playwright, whose plays include Angels and Ministers of Grace Defend Us, Liars’ Poker, Picture Perfect, Ten Minute Life, She Hung Up and works-in-progress: Three Mile Limit and PowerPlay. She is a member of AEA, SAG-AFTRA, and the Dramatists Guild.

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