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Playwrighting Tips and Tricks - "The Two Question I Ask of All My Characters"

Artistic Statement


I consider myself a “southern playwright,” focusing almost exclusively on character-driven stories set in my home state of Alabama. I am actively exploring the unsung topographies and voices of the Gulf Coast region with a purposeful reverence for regional authenticity and texture. 


Writing Focus

I believe that stories of healing are important. I gravitate toward characters who are lost, “stuck,” and emotionally fatigued (a term I call “reckless apathy”). I want to tell every love story worth telling and my plays run the spectrum: collision, romance, betrayal, death, heartache and redemption.



In my work, I start with the audience in mind. The pieces that I create (almost always “two-handers”) are structured specifically to effect a sort of communal release. The intent is a spiritual quality, something that offers to transcend the moment at hand and move the characters and the audience collectively into a moment of uplift, of light and revelation. I achieve this with a strict ear for naturalistic dialogue, and a ruthless distillation process.


I am an outspoken proponent of stillness in story-telling; the silence in my plays is not incidental. On the contrary, it operates as another character in the narrative. It is my experience that a text stripped to its essence returns the gift of tension (a truly spectacular gift). Indeed, much of the story that would otherwise be inaudible reveals itself in these quiet moments. I operate under the assertion that nothing in my writing is sacrosanct. This allows me the freedom to create dialogue that is free from noise and filled with the richness of silence and shadow. In this way, I spend less time filling the page with words and more time on the character interactions that assert themselves in the void.


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Featured Articles by Audrey Cefaly

Featured Interv iews

“No one gives a sh*t about one-acts.” He was lecturing me on not writing.....   

I’ve always had a love affair with “small” quiet pieces....  

a pervasive lie in theatre that noise is the only way to tell a story....  

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