Samara Attridge never pictured herself as a writer.
The 19-year-old has always been more of a center-stage type, acting and tackling musical theater. And though she’d written poems as a little kid, a creative writing class this past year as a high school senior got her hooked on the power of words.
“I didn’t realize I liked it that much,” said Attridge, who graduated from Catalina Foothills High School in May. “In creative writing, I realized I could create a world.”
In fact, she did — although the world she dreamed up in her comedic play didn’t veer that far from real life. The title of her script: “I Wrote A Play (a working title).”
Attridge sums it up like this: “The show is basically about the writer, Brooklyn, trying to get through the struggle that is writing while also dealing with hormonal teenagers.”
Yup, very meta.
Attridge, a New Zealander who moved to the States 10 years ago, remembers asking as a sophomore if any student had ever written and directed a play. No one had. So the seed was planted, although Attridge really didn’t start writing in earnest until her junior year when she submitted a 26-page proposal — the norm is usually 4-5 pages — and got approval to put on her play.
“I started writing every night and editing,” said Attridge, who will study acting at the University of Northern Colorado in August. “There’s a line where Brooklyn says, ‘Writing is so much harder than anyone thinks.’”
So true, said Attridge, who admitted that she proved to be her own greatest distraction. Throughout the writing process she sought advice from comedians and entertainment industry veterans who offered tips and encouragement. She kept polishing and revising up until four weeks before showtime. And though there was as much drama off-stage as on — hormonal teenagers, remember? — Attridge’s four-show run went off without a hitch. Though the play hit the stage in May, she doesn’t consider that the final curtain call.
With a broad smile, Attridge said, “I plan to continue to work on it in college.”