Playwright airs her 'Views' to acclaim
After being produced three years running at Louisville’s Humana Festival, Naomi Iizuka has landed two major productions of her new play, “36 Views.”
The drama, which focuses on the discovery of a Japanese pillow book, opens at Berkeley Rep in September, with a February staging set for the Public Theater. Alec Baldwin is in negotiations to headline the Gotham premiere.
Born in Japan, Iizuka moved to the States at 7. Now living in Los Angeles, she finds it difficult to find a thematic thread linking her work: “Polaroid Stories” is a contempo street-kids retelling of Ovid’s “Metamorphosis”; “War of the Worlds,” written with Anne Bogard, examines the work of Orson Welles.
“I see playwrighting as a journalistic task,” says the writer, who occasionally teaches at the University of Iowa. “You’re reporting on a world outside yourself and must be as accurate as you can be.”
At present, she is at work on two children’s plays commissioned by, respectively, Berkeley Rep and the Kennedy Center. True to form, the subject matter touches on many topics, from a boy with wings to the memoir of a young Asian-American man interned in a World War II camp.