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Claudia Haas
I was 8 years old when I announced to the world on the Sonny Fox WONDERAMA TV show that I was going into theatre. And into theatre I did go (much to the consternation of my family). At age 18, I apprenticed at a summer stock in North Carolina, did a children's show and promptly fell in love with youth theatre. I now write primarily for young performers. I try to include roles for the advanced performer as well as the beginner and everyone must have a true character to explore. My love affair with youth theatre came about because it is a wide field where exploration into many worlds takes place. From fantasy to history through a myriad of time periods, you are only limited by your imagination. I will sit and ponder an idea for months - even years - before I commit pen to paper. I create a cast of characters, their biographies, figure out their needs and wants and conflicts and then outline and go to work. It is an exciting period when the play first takes shape. Then there is the period where you wonder "What was I thinking?" And through it all, I pace and talk to myself incessantly (my children wish I wouldn't do that), make notes, revise and edit and revise and edit. It is a joy to love what you do. It is also a joy to have young students come up to me with their part that I have written and announce solemnly, "My character would never say that." And they're usually right!
These days I am home writing full time. I direct and teach youth theatre because it is important to be among the age group I write for and because I love it! Young performers are always astonishing.
Honors include first place in the 2007 Aurand Harris Playwriting Competition, winner/finalist at the 2007 Bonderman Symposium, various first to third finishes in the Jackie White Memorial Play Writing Contest as well as second place finishes in the Nantucket Short Play Contest and The Marilyn Hall Awards (Beverly Hills Children's Play Writing Contest). My plays have had over 600 productions in 49 states (I am missing Wyoming!) as well as in Australia, South Africa and the United Kingdom. I live in White Bear Lake, MN with my family and enjoy a short commute to the upstairs bedroom. Happily, I save on gas and don't need to drive in the Minnesota winter! I welcome input from teachers, producers and students!
Visit Claudia Haas's web page.
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