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A Closer Look: Eric Micha Holmes

Playwrights’ Corner
Eric Micha Holmes

Take "A Closer Look" at the writers of The New Black Fest at The Lark!  In this series, the writers involved in this year's festival interview each other about their influences, impulses, inspirations and identities.  Read on to hear what Eric Micha Holmes told Lisa Rosetta Strum about his work!

Lisa Rosetta Strum: What themes or ideas turn you on as a writer and why?

Eric Micha Holmes: I'm always coming back to the problem of change. I'm turned on by how and why people change through crisis. A play gets fun for me when a character makes a surprising but inevitable choice that reveals the judgements I made about her. I also like writing about race. And costumes. I like costumes because they are the easiest way to track change. I suspect there's correlation between the way I approach race and the way I approach costumes but I'm too sober right now to figure it out.

LRS: How would you describe your writing style?

EMH: Good question because I have no idea!  So I asked my friend, actor, and writer Anna O'Donoghue, who I highly recommend you see in The Way West  at Labyrinth Theater Company, to answer this question: "Eric is writing for the guy who'd rather be watching the basketball game but whose girlfriend dragged him to the theater. He always claims his writing is straightforward and standard-structure—that he makes just regular type old plays—but he's such a weirdo he just doesn't know how whackjob his sense of "regular" is. He writes like the guy who's always the tallest one in the room but knows what it feels like to be invisible. He worked as a hospital orderly for a while, so he's not afraid of blood and other various fluids. His work is more interesting than basketball and I'm not just saying that cause I'm a girl."

LRS: What's the best advice you've ever received about writing?

EMH: "Remember to breathe." -Lisa Kron