Philadelphia Theatre Company’s latest work of art hitting the stage in Philly this weekend, “How to Catch Creation,” comes from the talented young playwright Cristina Anderson. “How to Catch Creation” follows the story of four artists and intellectuals in San Fransisco who are struggling to find their place in both the professional and social worlds while honing their creative impulses and learning more about the crazy journey life puts us all on.
“How to Catch Creation” marks the first work PTC picked up from the Kilroy List, according to a release. The List was created to give theatre producers a choice of underproduced works by women, with a focus on trans and non-binary writers. PTC has vowed to produce at least one production from the list every season moving forward — they are the first theater in the nation to do so.
“It came to me that so many industry leaders were putting plays forward to be on the list, but that to actually commit to producing them would be an important and impactful leap. In considering what PTC would put forward, we knew we wanted to feature women and stories by writers that might need more visibility — that need a break, frankly. I would love PTC to be a place that gives creative people the chance they need to break through,” said Producing Artistic Director Paige Price in the release.
“How to Catch Creation” is imaginative, bold and unafraid. The characters are deep and relatable, the story lines heart-wrenching and raw, but the outcome is absolutely beautiful.
“The characters are deep. A man who was wrongly incarcerated for 25 years is unable to go to his mother’s funeral and now has trouble adapting. He is forced to engage with the same system that put him in prison when he tries to get approved to adopt a child. Another character is ambivalent about her relationship, even while subsuming her own needs to try and make it work. Another is in a relationship with a writer, and we see what happens when that person feels she takes second place to her partner’s work. I absolutely love how the lives of three seemingly unconnected people intertwine in a magically theatrical way,” said Price.
The story was inspired by Anderson’s time in the Bay Area, along with the people and experiences that stood out to her. Anderson has been called “a gifted playwright you want to pay attention to” by Vanity Fair and has already had great success with some of her other notable productions appearing on stage at The Public Theater, Yale Repertory Theatre, Penumbra Theatre Company, Playwrights Horizons and others.
“I had a yearlong residency at the Magic Theatre in San Francisco. It was my first time living on the West Coast. I met so many wonderful and progressive black folks living beautiful and dynamic lives, so I knew I wanted to capture a similar energy in a theatre piece someday. I hope audiences see this as an opportunity to connect with new or familiar perspectives and an opportunity to see their reflection. I hope they gain inspiration, sparks of joy and courage. I’m thrilled to share this play with Philly audiences!” said Anderson in a release.