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Meet The Playwright: Jennifer Maisel

Meet Jennifer Maisel, playwright of Eight Nights! Jennifer is a member of the Antaeus Playwrights Lab, where Eight Nights was developed. She is also the person you want with you if you are trying to park around LA.

What is your favorite holiday?
Truly, favorite is passover. I love the ritual of Seder (hence my play, The Last Seder) which to me is one part Haggadah and 9 parts family ritual.
Do you have a beloved winter holiday tradition?
Actually, as a kid, we always saw a Broadway show on Xmas day. Movies have supplanted that because theaters go dark on Christmas now but I always loved it.
What’s one of your unusual “special skills” on your resume?
I don’t have any listed but if I did it would be parallel parking (which I’ve probably jinxed myself into never being able to do well again).
What food do you really like that other people think is weird?
Ketchup and relish on hot dogs which some people think is a sacrilege, which I don’t understand. Not that I can remember the last time I had a hot dog.
What takes up too much of your time?
Not writing.
What is special about the place you grew up?
The house was sold long ago, but I remember the last days of packing it up and visiting it empty — for me it still held all the memories of growing up there in its walls – so special for me was probably extraordinarily ordinary for anyone else roaming its halls.
What movie/TV show/book/game world would you want to live in?
Gotta say I wouldn’t mind a stint at Hogwarts.
New York or LA?
New York AND LA.
Which of your school teachers do you remember best and why?
Is it cheating to say Leonard Davenport, as I make it a point to see him every year? He was my journalism teacher in high school and is delightful man and has been a lovely champion of my work. But the best is getting together with someone who was your mentor and getting to hang out with him on the same level (and subject my daughter to hearing stories about my high school days over and over again.)
If your daily life were narrated, who would you want to be the narrator?
Allison Janney
What do you consider yourself an expert on?
Literally nothing – I always think I have so much more to learn.
If you opened a museum dedicated to anything, what would that thing be?
A museum dedicated to playwrights — now that would be a dream…it could be made up of a series of spaces with plays going constantly or some other way of catching the ephemerality of this entire venture…I guess that’s called a theatre…sigh….

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