When I first started writing this piece in 2018, it was to be a one-character play driven by high tech effects, an experimental bent, and a more cerebral exploration of memory and disappearance. Suddenly all of that changed. The pandemic struck. New York closed down over the weekend. The following Monday, March 16th, 2020, I became ill and tested positive for the Coronavirus. Already struggling with personal loss, I was ill for five weeks. As those days went by at a slow and surreal pace, five of my friends died. The world turned dark and silent. What I thought would be there had vanished. I got shakily back on my feet and back to writing, and the piece took on an urgent demand to explore love, loss, and memory. My heart was crying out. The country was crying out. I became quiet and still, and knew that the most important thing was to listen to it all.
This play is a deeply personal journey, looking back at certain aspects of my life. But maybe it reflects what we have all been through in the past year: for all the loss that has been endured, it is courage and most of all love that sustains us.
As we move out of the darkness of Covid and into a new era of hope, I am so grateful to be alive, to be a theater artist, and to have been lucky enough to be commissioned by SF Playhouse, as a first-time playwright, to create this piece and share it with you – in all its untried, untested newness. Thanks to Bill and Susi for believing in me; to Becca Wolff for starting me on this journey and to Padraic Lillis for joining me as I go along.
Writing I Was Right Here has been a joyous, torturous, delightful, painful, frightening and exhilarating experience. I hope you find something of yourself in the 67 minutes we will share together.
Here’s to strength, compassion and the best of what makes us human.
With love and light,
Wera V. W.
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