willa colleary 


    Four students at an elite private school and their cult-of-personality history teacher must recount how and why they began the weekly ritual of obsessively performing an archetypal school shooting.


    "No, it makes sense. Someone has to survive or it's just not the same."


    Willa Colleary


    Playwright's Bio

    Willa Colleary (she/her) is a Los-Angeles based writer. She has attended and supported public schools throughout her education, and is set to graduate from University High School Charter, where she acts as Assistant Creative Director of the Theater Department. Colleary was honored to enroll in the California State Summer School of the Arts (CSSSA) in summer 2021 to refine her skills in various disciplines of writing. She was awarded the California Arts Scholar award for her work with the program. Colleary has visited and been inspired by the performances at Topanga Canyon’s Theatricum Botanicum since she was little, and she is more than ecstatic to be representing their community with REHEARSAL, which she wrote under their tutelage.


    When did you start writing? What/who are some of the major influences on your writing?

    I’ve always loved to write, and my influences change constantly. Poetry has always been a big part of whatever I’m doing creatively. The David Lehman ‘Best American Poetry of X” anthologies kept me sane during the pandemic. I admire the works of Joan Didion, James Baldwin, and Kurt Vonnegut. Attending, teaching, producing, and acting in local theater has resulted in a lifetime’s worth of influence on my writing.

    How did you come to write your #ENOUGH play? Given that there are many dimensions to the issue of gun violence, what aspect did you focus on and why?

    I came to write Rehearsal when my playwriting instructors at Theatricum Botanicum introduced #Enough’s mission and prompt to me during one of our summer sessions. I wanted to explore not the actual event, the experience of which is completely alien to me, but rather the story of school gun violence, which I’ve had to sit with for quite some time now. The roles, the images, the beginning, middle, and end-- these facets of the familiar modern American tale are impressed on all of us. Commonplace, also, is the tendency to find a way to twist these events into stories that offers catharsis. We find a hero, a martyr, or a reason in it, even though there may not be any of those things; just sudden, nonsensical, entirely preventable violence. This play is about the American tendency to mythologize instances of gun violence.

    If you could write a play or story that represented the future you want to be a part of, what would it look like?

    A kind of story that always makes me hopeful is that of the artist colony: a recognition that satisfies the conflicting desires of a individualized creative voice and a sense of community and belonging. In this play, a diverse cast of characters would attempt to create in their own rite while in a mutually respectful conversation with one another.

    What are some of your favorite plays?

    The American Dream by Edward Albee might be my current favorite. Brilliant Traces, Death of A Salesman, The God of Carnage, and A Play in 5 Betties… are serious honorable mentions.

    What will your next play be about?


    What do you want to see done about gun violence right now?

    I’d like the process of ascertaining a gun to become as bureaucratic as getting a driver's license– in fact, more so. I’d like the proposed firearm owner to undergo written examinations, training sessions, throughout mental health assessments, and a probationary period. I’d like the firearm owner to be fully knowledgeable about gun safety and how to secure a firearm. I would like assault rifles to be banned.

    Get to Know Willa

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    This play is disturbing as hell. So interesting and no answers.

    don zolidis
    Playwright & #ENOUGH panelist

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    In My Sights

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