TheaterTheater Interview

Theater Interview: Morgan Clyde, Writer/Director of ‘Like Stars, Moonie’

San Antonio’s Overtime Theater was founded in 2007 with the purpose of presenting new works by local artists. Its mission is to be a “theater for the people,” providing the community with unique theatrical offerings in addition to workshops in acting, playwriting and comedy improv. The Overtime is considered the Alamo City’s answer to off-off-Broadway theater, specializing in eclectic and experimental works with an emphasis on talent from San Antonio and surrounding cities.

Making its premiere at the Overtime was Like Stars, Moonie, a two-act piece written and directed by local performer and playwright Morgan Clyde. Her drama focuses on the tension between Maggie (Allie Smith), a young woman who can’t wait to leave home to go to college, and her domineering mother, Lori (Sarah Goodwin), whose control over her daughter is suffocating.

Clyde was kind enough to answer some questions about the creation of Like Stars, Moonie and the San Antonio theater scene in general:

How many plays have you written?

This is my second work to be produced. The first was Black: A Comedy Of Bubonic Proportions. It is a medieval farce in which the lord of a small castle is found dead from the plague on a very inconvenient day, and thus the other residents of the castle hatch a complicated plot to conceal his death, all while trying not to drop dead themselves. That was produced last summer, also at the Overtime.

That sounds hilarious! Tell us a bit about your background in San Antonio theater.

Left to right: Robert Moritz, Sarah Goodwin and Allie Smith in Morgan Clyde’s Like Stars, Moonie.

I’ve been working in theater here since 2009, shortly after I graduated from Harding University in Arkansas. I’m an avid performer and fight choreographer as well as a regular director. I’ve also got a few costume and set design credits, and now my two writing credits. I’ve worked for most of the theaters in town.

What was the inspiration behind Like Stars, Moonie?

The initial inspiration came from a conversation with my fellow actor, Venny Mortimer. We were chatting after a rehearsal, and a very loose version of the plot started to come together. It stuck with me, and I eventually started fleshing out characters and putting them on paper.

I drew from various elements of myself to sort of “Frankenstein” these characters’ personalities together. I actually sent the first act to Willy Razavi, the Overtime’s artistic director, to see if it was worth finishing. He included it in the season just based on those first few scenes, and I finished the first draft at the end of 2016.

What role does do you think Overtime plays in the city’s theater community?

The Overtime has largely been at the forefront of new theatrical adventures in San Antonio. Their mission to produce exclusively new works brings a different kind of heartbeat to our theater scene, and the experimental serial formats continue to provide audiences and artists with a new way to experience live stories. I’m all for more good productions of Oklahoma, but it’s refreshing and vital to have a venue that allows artists to create something from the ground up.

How do you see San Antonio theater evolving? What needs to happen to make it continue to grow?

Right now, I see various theaters striving to either discover or promote their own individual identity. That’s important, of course, but it also seems to be having a somewhat divisive effect. I would love to see all the theaters connecting and supporting one another in some way. There are a couple of organizations that are already doing this, which is encouraging – and I hope it’s infectious.

And how do you see that collaboration being put into practice?

Social media posts encouraging neighboring theaters or wishing them well on openings – that kind of thing. It’s wishful thinking, but I’d love to see the heads of different organizations work together to enrich the depth and variety of theater in town.

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