5 Questions with Lia Romeo

The 10th reading in our FORUM “Soundings” series is A PEFECT FIT by Lia Romeo. This reading will be begin at 7:00pm on January 22, 2015 and will be held at Fairleigh Dickinson University, Dreyfuss Theatre, 285 Madison Avenue, Madison, NJ. Click here for directions.Click here for a printable map of the campus (the Dreyfuss Theatre is located in Building 9).

Nicole just started dating her roommate, a girl, and her parents are actually cool with it.  Her mom, Janet’s relationship with her husband isn’t like it used to be, and she gets a little jealous of what Nicole seems to have with Jill.  Through their own ups and downs, mother and daughter both have a lot to learn from each other.

Lia Romeo earned her B.A. from Princeton University and her M.F.A. from Rutgers.  Her plays have been produced or developed at the Kennedy Center, 59E59, Project Y Theatre Company, Abingdon Theatre, the Lark Theatre, Unicorn Theatre, HotCity Theatre, Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey, New Jersey Repertory Theatre, Kitchen Dog Theatre, Performance Network Theatre, Stillwater Theatre, Renegade Theatre Experiment, and elsewhere. She has been a finalist for the O’Neill, PlayPENN, WordBRIDGE, the Reva Shiner Comedy Award at Bloomington Playwrights Project, the Seven Devils Playwrights Conference, and the Heideman Award.  She was the 2008-2009 National New Play Network Emerging Playwright-in-Residence at Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey, and was a member of the 2011 New Jersey Emerging Women Playwrights Project.  She is also the author of a novel, Dating the Devil (BelleBooks), and a humor book, 11,002 Things to Be Miserable About (Abrams Image), which has sold over 30,000 copies worldwide.

  1. Where did you get the idea for A PERFECT FIT?
    A PERFECT FIT was inspired by an article I read in The Guardiancalled “Why It’s Never Too Late to Be a Lesbian” about how more and more women are coming out late in life, often after having married men and had children.  The idea that these women may have ended up on a heterosexual path because it didn’t really occur to them that they could do anything else really resonated with me, and I started thinking about how many more choices young women have today in terms of sexuality and gender compared to the choices women had in the past.

    2. You wrote your book “11,002 Things To Be Miserable About” with your brother, Nick. What was the process like sharing writing duties with your sibling?
    It was a lot of fun!  That was my only experience with collaboration, and I don’t know if I could do it with anyone else, but Nick and I know each other really well and have a similar sensibility, so we were able to work well together.  Also, if you’re sitting around making a list of all the world’s miseries (which is literally what that book is), it’s marginally less depressing to do it with someone else.

    3. How difficult is it to switch hats from playwright to literary manager for Project Y Theatre Company? In the former, you get judged and the latter, you are the judge.
    I think every playwright should do literary work… talk to local companies and ask them if they need script readers or people to help in their literary department… because it’s been fascinating and so informative for me.  Reading a lot of scripts has helped make me a better writer, of course, but switching roles has also been really helpful to me in terms of self-promotion, because I see what works and what doesn’t work when other writers are trying to approach me, and I’m able to apply some of that when I approach other companies.

    4. You are a playwright, novelist and comic writer. What made you decide to pursue a M.F.A. in playwriting from Rutgers?
    I was going through a bad time after college… living in my parents’ basement and working a temp job as the receptionist at a porn agency… and so my parents suggested that it might be a good time to apply to grad school.  I’d always known I wanted to be a writer, and having those three years to focus and learn how to translate that desire into a daily writing practice was tremendously helpful, as were the connections I made with other people in the business.

    5. Where is your favorite place to buy pretty shoes?
    Local boutiques.  Also Target! – they have surprisingly good shoes there.