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Jacqueline Goldfinger. (Photo by Kate Raines)

The Subtext: Jacqueline Goldfinger and the Lure of the Cliff

This month Brian talks to the Philly writer of ‘Babel’ and ‘The Arsonists’ about playwriting, parenting, and risk.

Each month Brian James Polak talks to playwrights about the things usually left unsaid. In conversations that dive into life’s muck, we learn what irks, agitates, motivates, inspires and—ultimately—what makes writers tick.

On this episode, Brian visits Jacqueline Goldfinger in her Philadelphia home, where they discuss growing up in Tallahassee, Fla., breaking into theatre by attending film school, and the inspiration found in watching finger puppet performances. Goldfinger, author of plays including Babel, Bottle Fly, Click, The Arsonists, and many others, is a past recipient of the Yale Prize, Opera America Discovery Grant, and Generations Award. Her work has been supported by Yaddo, Millay Colony, and published by Edition Peters, Concord Theatricals, among others.

During this conversation Jacqueline shouts out the Parent Artist Advocacy League as she discusses the intersection of parenthood and playwriting. She talks about the challenge of being both a parent and writer simultaneously, saying, “I would not sacrifice my children for a play.” She gives credit to having a partner who helps her pull her through the challenges by supporting the complicated needs and schedules of being a theatremaker, allowing her to continue her career unabated.

Her book Playwriting With Purpose, recently published by Routledge, sets out to reinvent the way playwriting is taught.

The episode can be found here.

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