Cathy Lanski’s Unwanted Guests

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By day, we’re marketing geeks. Computer nerds. Quirky writers and artists. And damn proud of it!

But after hours, our team members shed their marketing capes – and pursue all kinds of cool Hobbies, Interests and Talents (we call them HITs for short).

When Cathy Lanski, a Haley Marketing Writer & Editor, isn’t wielding her marketing copywriting pen, she enjoys a different kind of writing:

HIT: Playwright

Back Story

I’ve written all sorts of things over the years, both fiction and non-fiction. One day about ten years ago I came across a 10-minute play contest sponsored by a local community theatre, so I decided to give it a go. I was surprised and delighted when Mixed Signals was chosen and performed in their 10-minute play festival. It went on to win a TANYS award (Theatre Association of New York State) for the outstanding acting. I’ve since had a couple of other 10-minute plays produced locally.

Why do I love being a playwright?

I’ve always been a very spare and concise writer – a trait that serves me well in copy writing! I liked the challenge of communicating exclusively through dialogue, leaving the audience to fill in the rest with their imagination. I’m drawn particularly to black-box staging where the sets are very minimal – sometimes just a chair or two.

It’s surreal and amazing to see my words come to life on stage, and I find that the process of writing dialogue brings creativity to my other copywriting projects.

Perhaps most importantly, my plays prevent the very real – and very serious – problem of having a bunch of actors standing around on stage, staring at each other silently (awkward).

Finally! Full Length!

After modest success with 10-minute plays, I wrote my first full-length play, Unwanted Guests. The first draft of this play was accepted into Road Less Traveled Theatre’s Emanuel Fried New Play Workshop for development. In this case a year long process of re-writes and critiques culminating in a public staged reading. Unwanted Guests is a comedy and a sort of play-within-a-play about what happens when an actor decides to insert himself into a show in which he was not cast. For my reading, practically the entire Haley Marketing team showed up! They are a very supportive group.

I’m continuing to revise Unwanted Guests and hope to begin submitting it for production soon and I continue to work on other plays.

Some of my plays can be found here on the National New Play Network’s New Play Exchange.

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