Why Kira Obolensky, Why Ten Thousand Things?

Kira Obolensky is the Playwright-in-Residence at Ten Thousand Things through the National Playwright Residency Program, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Find out more about her residency experience here, and learn about the impact of the program at large here

Michelle Hensley and Kira Obolensky discuss their shared joy in collaborating at Ten Thousand Things.

"She knew how to write for this huge swath of audience. What Kira does that works so well is she thinks about big stories with all kinds of people from all walks of life, in a fairytale setting in another time and place and what that does is it creates this space where a corporate CEO and a homeless person can meet as equals and watch a play together because no one can be an expert in what it's like to be a King or a Queen or a Jester or a Witch. Someone can be an expert on what it's like to be in a middle class living room. Someone is an expert on what it's like to live in an urban slum. But no one's an expert in that fairytale world, and Kira just understood that intuitively."

"I had never found the director or theatre that understood the world where I was creating my plays. I [didn't] see a natural audience for my work. A lot of contemporary plays…are aimed at the theatre-going audience and my plays don't really fit that world until I met Michelle. Every artist that comes in contact with this theatre emerges on the other side bigger, a better artist, more connected to the world. It is a kind of theatre that, for me, feeds everything that needs to be fed in me as artist, but even more is the kind of exchange I always imagined theatre could be."

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