Lia Romeo

Lia Romeo is a playwright, novelist, and humor book author.  She earned her B.A. from Princeton University and her M.F.A in playwriting from Rutgers, ending up with staggering quantities of student loans and no marketable skills whatsoever.   She managed to secure a part-time job writing standardized test questions, and spends the rest of her time writing plays and novels and daydreaming about pretty shoes.

Her play Green Whales received its Equity premiere at the Unicorn Theatre in March 2010, and will be produced by Renegade Theatre Experiment in the 2011-2012 season. Her play Right Place, Right Time premiered at Renegade Theatre Experiment in January 2010, and was produced by Stillwater Theatre in September 2010.  Her play Hungry will premiere at the Unicorn Theatre in the 2011-2012 season, and will be produced by Stillwater Theater subsequently.  Her play LoveSick, a collection of ten-minute plays about love, will premiere at New York City’s Project Y Theatre Company in 2012.  She is currently at work on a commission from HotCity Theatre in St. Louis.  Lia was selected as the 2008-2009 National New Play Network Emerging Playwright-in-Residence at Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey.

Her humor book, 11,002 Things to Be Miserable About, was published in 2009 by Abrams Image.  It is currently in its second printing, with close to 30,000 copies sold, and has earned favorable reviews in the Boston Globe and other national publications.  Her first novel, Dating the Devil, is represented by New York literary agent Katharine Sands, and is currently in development as a TV movie at ABC Family.   

Productions and Publications

Full Length

Green Whales

Unicorn Theatre, Kansas City, KS, world premiere March 2010

Renegade Theatre Experiment, San Jose, CA, production January 2012

PlayPenn Playwrights Conference, finalist

WordBridge Playwrights Conference, finalist

New Jersey Repertory Theatre, reading

Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey, reading

The Kennedy Center MFA Playwrights Workshop, workshop and reading

Right Place, Right Time

Renegade Theatre, San Jose, CA, world premiere January 2010

Stillwater Theatre, Raleigh, NC, production September 2010

Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, finalist

The Kennedy Center MFA Playwrights Workshop, workshop and reading

Hungry

Unicorn Theatre, Kansas City, KS, world premiere March 2012

Stillwater Theatre, Raleigh, NC, production April 2012

Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey, reading December 2010

Super

Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey, reading

New Jersey Repertory Theatre, reading

Unicorn Theatre, reading


Babies

Lark Theatre Playwrights’ Workshop, workshop and development

 One Act

Baby Boom

New Orleans Fringe Festival, production

Looking Glass Theatre, production

Goshen Peace Playwriting Contest, winner

Mrs. Henderson’s Cat

Hangar Theatre, production

Short film based on play, currently in post-production

Short

Yog Sothoth

Heideman Award, finalist

Samuel French Off-Off-Broadway Short Play Festival, production

11,002 Things to Be Miserable About, humor book published by Abrams Image, February 2009. 30,000 copies sold to date nationally and internationally; positive reviews in the Boston Globe and other major publications.

Dating the Devil, novel represented by literary agent Katharine Sands, currently out on submission to publishers.  Optioned by ABC Family and Vast Entertainment for development.

Project Description and Goals

At this point in my process with Reality, I’ve worked through several drafts of the script on my own, and gotten feedback from a few trusted mentors, but haven’t yet had any development of the script with actors or in front of an audience.  I feel like the dialogue is reading smoothly and the humor is working well, though both could of course be improved and refined by sitting in on a rehearsal process and hearing audience reactions.  However, I primarily want to work on deepening the script and fulfilling the potential of its premise in two major ways.

First, I want to continue to work on making the characters more interesting and multi-dimensional.  I started from a concept rather than from a character for the play, and I think especially in early drafts fell into the trap of writing characters that were somewhat stereotypical or unidimensional because they existed in the often stereotypical and unidimensional world of reality television.  I think I’ve made some progress with the characters since then, but I could continue to work on making them less like types and more like people.  I’ve always found the process of working with actors tremendously helpful in this regard, as they imbue characters who’ve existed only in my mind with a singular, flesh-and-blood quality that I can then work on re-translating back to the page.

Secondly, I want to work on articulating the themes of the play more clearly.  I’m not sure that it’s saying everything that it could – or the most interesting, challenging things that it could – about our cultural obsession with reality television and what it means about us as a culture.  I’ve done a fair amount of reading about the sociological implications of reality TV, but I want to continue to do more, and continue to think about my own feelings on the subject (as an admitted reality junkie who’s simultaneously compelled and repulsed by its larger-than-life characters).  In this respect too, I think the process of being in a rehearsal room, and hearing the discussions and variety of perspectives that a rehearsal process engenders, would be extremely helpful, as would hearing audience feedback on a reading.