Artist Profile: Leila Teitelman
Leila Teitelman is a Brooklyn-based playwright participating in Art House's INKubator, a year-long generative new play program.
What was the first production you saw? What do you still remember about the experience?
I believe I was in a play before I ever saw one live. My father is a high school drama teacher/director and he used to involve me in the choruses of his shows from a very young age. Being on stage and getting comfortable with that experience definitely had an impact on my understanding of the arts.
What play/production have you seen the most?
I'm sure I've watched the recorded Mandy and Bernadette version of Sunday in the Park over 100 times. I also used a lyric from that show as my senior quote in high school (I was super cool,) and I have a lyric tattooed on my ribs. Growing up in a small town, I didn't have much access to live theater which meant I relied heavily on previously recorded live performance.
Why are the arts important to you?
There are a lot of ways that we as humans connect and contemplate existence, and the arts is the way that I've chosen to engage in that. The arts are important politically and socially to the forward movement of our humanity. We're seeing right now just how resourceful we are when it comes to connecting with other people through artistic thought.
What's the elevator pitch for the play you're working on in INKubator, Where We Lie?
When a mom and her two daughters move into a new house and try to start fresh, it doesn't take long for them to realize that the past can follow and haunt a family for generations.
What inspired you to write the play you're working on in INKubator?
I was inspired by the homelessness of my own mother, and what generational choices led to that. I'm trying to explore what is passed down not only by blood, but by seeing the choices of your parents and grandparents and using that to inform your own life path. Many things my sister and I have done with our lives seem to circle back over and over again and reflect previous generations.
Leila Teitelman is a playwright and artist from New Hampshire. She holds a degree from Connecticut College where she majored in theater with a concentration in playwriting. While at Connecticut College, she accepted the Crabtree award for excellence in theater and presented her thesis production (Of The Beast) as an exploration of changing theatrical representation of motherhood. Her plays include: Sex Without Energy (The National Theater Institute), Awful People Pray (National Playwrights Conference Semi-Finalist, Princess Grace Fellowship Semi-Finalist, Breaking Through the Box Theater, Fresh Fruit Festival, Working Title Productions) and Baby Cakes (B-Street Theater Inaugural Comedy Festival, The Hearth Theater Co.) Leila was a 2017/2018 resident playwright at Athena Theater and is on playwriting faculty at The National Theater Institute. Leila has worked in Education and Literary offices at Manhattan Theatre Club, New Dramatists, The Eugene O'Neill Theater Center and Barrington Stage Company. As a performer, she has worked with David Dorfman Dance, The College Light Opera Company, The Hearth, NYC Fringe and NYC Musical Theater Festivals. Her visual art was recently published in Ricky’s Backyard Magazine. She lives in Brooklyn, NY and Pittsfield, MA.
New Play Exchange: newplayexchange.org/users/9355/leila-teitelman