Marie Amthor Schuett shares her ideas and the process behind writing “The Break” which will have a staged reading Saturday August 18,2018.
How did you get this idea?
The Break actually began as a straight play called In Medias Res. I just couldn’t seem to wrap my head around the characters, though. I didn’t care enough about them. At the time, they were named George and Cindy. The story was centering more around George, and he couldn’t keep my interest. Other than an explosion at the beginning of the piece, I couldn’t seem to find their direction. I decided to drop the play for a bit and I worked on a few other pieces and productions (The Other Sewing Circle, The Suburban Set, L’Chaim and my newest play, Stuck with Lemons). In the fall of 2017, I re-visited the piece to see if anything had changed. That’s when I realized that the show was a really a musical. I ended up dropping George and Cindy, replaced them with Nick and Amy, and I started scribbling out ideas and dialogue. Once I found (or rather, she found me) the lyricist, Sami Horneff, and composer, Amanda D’Archangelis, then the piece really took off. We turned one character from male to female, and suddenly the entire play just opened up. I sat there and thought, “Wow. Okay. That’s what you’ve been trying to be. I was fighting too hard to try and make it something that it wasn’t.”
Why did this topic interest you?
I love to see who women become when they stop trying to fit into the box they think they should. Expectations and responsibilities aside, who are we? What are we capable of welcoming into our lives? And who are we when we’re on our own compared to who we are when we’re in a relationship? That question fascinates me.
The main character, Amy, decides that she’s been living on auto-pilot for too long. She’s 40, she’s a professor, and she’s been checking the right boxes all of her life until the moment presents itself and she gives herself the permission to be curious again. Curiosity and vulnerability are characteristics that really lend themselves to theatrical work. That character just opened up to me, Sami, and Amanda. She’s a culmination of all of us, I think. It’s like the strongest, most fabulous aspects of three creative women in the theatre world have combined to explore and create her, and we love her.
Can you provide a synopsis?
“The Break” follows the story of Amy Decker. After Amy’s husband decides to take a romantic trip abroad without her, she finds herself in the midst of a personal revolution, which may or may not include a gorgeous barista named Alex…
When, where will the reading occur?
This performance is free and open to the public. RSVP is required, as seating is limited. The production contains adult themes and language. Saturday August 18, 2018, at 7 pm at the 402 Arts Collective in Benson. We’ve sold out but we’re currently trying to add seats. We’ll keep you posted on our website (http://www.thebreakmusical.com), Facebook Security Check Required and our Event Brite Page ( The Break: A New Musical Staged Reading)