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Zoey Schwab

Playwright ~ Director

What was the most challenging about bringing The Wasp Closet to life?


-       It’s definitely the impact, for me. I want this show to make people think, to make some change in the way we approach subjects such as sexual assault and child abuse. For me, it would be heartbreaking for this show to not make any difference. I’m an advocate first and foremost before I’m an artist. This subject means so much to me and to so many, I want to do it justice. 


Where do you find inspiration?


-       I’m a horror lover through and through. I find that in horror we can truly delve into the deepest parts of ourselves with no hesitation. Usually, this is where I find the themes for my shows as most of them are in the horror genre. The Wasp Closet truly is an anomaly because it's the first show that wasn’t inspired by a horror - I found it in reality. A horrible reality, to be fair. It’s very rare that I look to the real world for inspiration, but this was one I couldn’t look away from. I’m a huge proponent for womens’ rights and I was able to push all of my anger, sadness and hope into this piece in a way I’ve never been able to before. 


How has your art changed over time?


-       I used to be so afraid of how people would react to what I’m making. I’m blunt with my art. I don’t like to sugarcoat things. I like the dark and the macabre. A lot of the struggle for me as an artist has been finding an audience that appreciates the same art that I do - one that’s brutally honest, real, and a lot of the time, scary. I had to realize that my art was for me and if people gravitated toward it, that’s an added bonus. Once I started making art for me, that’s when everything fell into place. I didn’t want to fit into a mold of the type of artist people thought I should be. Once you start creating something that’s unapologetically you, others will notice. 


What is your next project?


-       This summer, I’ll be assistant directing Bay City Players’ production of SchoolHouse Rock. In the winter, I’ll be back at Bay City Players to direct a dark version of the classic, A Christmas Carol. And then I’ll be back at VEP in June to bring my dream show to life - 1984! I’m also working on writing some new plays including a horror called At the Top of the Tall Trees. I can’t tell you too much yet, but it’s about a TV host that interviews a cult leader and some scary things happen in front of the live studio audience. 


Besides theater, what other creative outlets do you have?


-       Like I said earlier, I’m a huge horror fan. When I’m not at the theater, I’m watching horror movies (SAW is my absolute favorite). They’re always giving me new ideas for plays. Other than that, I have a deep love for music. I’ve been singing since I was a toddler and I’ve been to more concerts than I can count. Just this year I’ve seen Metallica and Chappell Roan and plan to catch Hozier, Rob Zombie, and Slipknot before it’s over.


When you have a 5 minute break during rehearsal, what do you do?


-       Look at cute pictures of my cats, Charlie and Beans, and watch clips of Rupaul’s Drag Race.

The Wasp Closet is currently in rehearsal and will be premiering on stage June 21-23

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