Maple and Vine
by Jordan Harrison
Director-Playwright Interview Part One
Rehearsals for CoHo’s production of Maple and Vine began last month, but director and co-producer Megan Kate Ward (pictured) has been thinking about it for over three years! In this interview, she talks with playwright Jordan Harrison about first rehearsals and their shared history of important beginnings at Portland Center Stage’s JAW festival.
Jordan Harrison: How was the first day [of rehearsal]?
Megan Kate Ward: Great! Yesterday we read through the script and my costume designer was there to fit everyone with costumes. Oh my god, there are so many costumes dude. You’re killing me. (laughter) It’s so great, I’m excited about my cast and designers, but I will say what’s hard, or not hard but different about this show is that I have known this play [M&V] since we were working on FUTURA [ at Portland Center Stage, 2011] and you were about to head to Humana with it and I was like, I want to read it, send it to me! And once I read it I could not stop thinking about that. When was that?
JH: I wrote the first draft is 2009, and the Humana premiere was 2011.
MKW: And it’s been great seeing the script change and grow. I’m so excited to be finally working on it, and tonight we are going to do table work on Act 1 and the timeline and figure out the world you have created for us. I’m nervous as a director that I’m going to skim over something or forget to go over it because I’ve been living with this script in my heart for so long.
JH: Right, this is why playwrights probably shouldn’t direct their work – or at least this playwright shouldn’t – because I wouldn’t give them time to catch up to all that. It’s a really backstory-heavy play to table work. There is so much to navigate underneath the text.
MKW: Let’s talk about how we met. ..