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Conversations with the Inspiring Gwen Flager

Today we’d like to introduce you to Gwen Flager.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Gwen. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I love writing, whether it’s a recommendation letter or a play. I am a storyteller. I attended a few writing classes at Rice University. I learned that writing dialogue is one of my better skills. Playwriting seemed the logical format for my work. I submitted my first play to the 2009 New Play Reading Series at Country Playhouse (now Queensbury Theatre). I was surprised and grateful that my play was selected as one of the six to be read in that series. Since that time, I have had other works presented in reading series and several of my short plays have been produced in Houston and in Santa Cruz, California. Shakin’ the Blue Flamingo, a full-length play was selected for Queensbury Theatre’s 2017 – 2018 New Works Development Program and was produced in Houston, by Queensbury in July 2018. I recently finished a one-act play and will be submitting it to various conferences and competitions in the coming months. While I wait for responses from other contests and theatre opportunities, I have started a few other writing adventures.

Has it been a smooth road?
Writing in and of itself is a solitary endeavor. All you need is paper and a pencil. The question becomes what do you want to do with your work? For a playwright, the goal is a full production of one’s work. A play is meant to be seen and heard and felt. I periodically remind myself to keep writing regardless of the outcome. I cannot be discouraged by “rejection” letters. I refuse to believe that my stories are less important, less meaningful, less compelling than other works that are selected for production. The fans, “former students”, and students of Texas A & M University have a saying that the Aggie football team doesn’t “lose” a game, it is only “outscored.” It serves me to believe that my work was not “rejected”, but simply not “selected.” I would urge young women to write their stories. Write what begs to be written. Find your unique voice. Protect your words and ideas. Find trusted dramaturgs, directors, other playwrights and actors to provide their comments and thoughts. Persevere.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into your business story. Tell us more about the business.
My plays are generally set in the South. I write about strong, flawed and, sometimes, unlovable women. I write about women I’ve known and loved and, in some cases, lost. I write stories about heartaches and how women laugh and love their way through sorrow and celebrate the unexpected joys of life.

Do you have a lesson or advice you’d like to share with young women just starting out?
Be yourself. Have courage. Express your unique talent. Don’t quit.

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Image Credit:
J. Jan Johnson and Julye Newlin

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