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Stage Door Productions welcomes back Mr. Stephen Peirick to the 2014 edition of the One Act Festival, as Mr. Peirick’s selection entitled, “The Third Time”, was selected for performance in the Festival a few years ago! We caught up with Stephen to see where he is at this year, what inspired him to write his selection entitled “On Solid Ground”, and why “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” is a good way to pass time during a snowy winter’s day!

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I am a playwright, actor, and marketing/communications guy living in St. Louis, Missouri. I am fortunate to live in a city that offers great creative opportunity to local artists. My first full-length play, Wake Up, Cameron Dobbs, received its World Premiere here with the West End Players Guild in 2012, and it was subsequently nominated for a St. Louis Theatre Circle Award for Outstanding New Play. When I’m not writing or acting, I love to be outside, travel, or (especially as it was such a brutal winter) get crazy with a “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” marathon. Follow me on Twitter: @speirick

What is your background in theater?

I have been a lover of the performing arts since I was little, and began competing with the Bellermine Speech League when I was in the 6th grade. That passion stayed with me through college, where I was a communications/theatre education major, and my primary focus was acting. I wrote my first play, a bit of an absurdist one-act comedy called “Tag Question” in college, and didn’t return to writing until about eight years ago, and didn’t really start submitting to theatres until 2008. Now I split my time by writing, acting, very occasional directing, and my NTL, or non-theatre life.

How did you find out about Stage Door Productions’ One Act Festival?

To be honest, I can’t remember how I found out about Stage Door Productions initially. But, that’s because I’ve been submitting for years. In fact, a few years back, my one-act comedy “The Third Time” was a 1st play winner in this very festival. I thought “On Solid Ground” would be a good fit for Stage Door, so I was anxious to submit again, and very thankful that I did!

What inspired or motivated you to write this One Act?

My mom. She loves to see feisty older female characters on stage. I wrote the character of Adele with this in mind. She’s sharp. She’s funny. She’s a loving mother. She’s the kind of character I knew my mom would appreciate.

How did you feel upon the selection of your Act to be performed by Stage Door Productions?

I was ecstatic. I love this short play, I really do. And it’s exciting to see it resonate with the readers at Stage Door Productions. It’s truly an honor to be one of the selected plays out of so many submissions.

What do you hope the audience takes away from your story?

Truly, I just like for an audience to have a reaction to my work. If they love it, that’s even better. But as long as there is some sort of reaction to what they’ve seen, to what I’ve written, I consider that a successful night at the theatre.

What doors do you expect to be opened for you from this selection and process?

I really hope as I build my resume as a playwright, theatres will begin to show an interest in my full-length works as well. Wake Up, Cameron Dobbs is a five-character (3 F, 2M) comedy with a unit set that was really well received here in St. Louis. I keep hoping to find theatres across the county who might be willing to give this work a chance in one of their upcoming seasons.

What’s next for you?

It’s a busy 2014, and I couldn’t be more excited about it. As an actor, I’ll be seen onstage this year in Love! Valour! Compassion! with Stray Dog Theatre in June, in The Normal Heart with HotCity Theatre in September, and in Eat Your Heart Out with R-S Theatrics in December. As a playwright, I’ll be crafting a play for the Theatre Lab’s 24 Hour Playfest in May and directing the world premiere of my second full-length, Four Sugars, with Stray Dog Theatre’s New Works Lab (and with thanks to a grant that I received from the Regional Arts Commission) in August. My play, Dating with a Past, is currently a semi-finalist with the LaBute Festival. I am keeping my fingers crossed that this will make the final cut and receive a production this summer as well.

Mr. Stephen Peirick

Mr. Stephen Peirick

Be sure to check out Stephen Peirick’s One Act “On Solid Ground” on April 11th, 12th, and 13th at 7:30pm at the Central Rappahannock Regional Library on 1201 Caroline Street in Fredericksburg, Virginia!

Also, be sure to follow Stephen on Twitter @speirick.