BWW Interviews: Playwright Abby Koenig Talks World Premiere of SPAGHETTI CODE
The world premiere of SPAGHETTI CODE, written by Houston based playwright Abby Koenig, tells the story of a couple, Millie and Tim, who have been trying to conceive. After several years of no luck with different fertility treatments, they've cleaned out their bank accounts. No money means that adoption and surrogacy are no longer an option. So Millie's desperation for a baby leads her to a new plan. She wants Tim to have a baby with her best friend Stacy, and they won't need fancy medical help because she wants them to conceive naturally. Thus problems ensue in this dark comedy.
SPAGHETTI CODE is Koenig's second world premiere with Horse Head Theatre Company and is part of the company's new initiative to produce female playwrights.
BWW: How do you feel about being a part of Horse Head Theatre Company's new initiative to produce female playwrights?
Abby Koenig: I think that it is fantastic because they are an incredibly talented group of actors and designers. They just needed some women. Sometimes they were all busy with other projects and really needed someone to help take charge. So the company has added some female members, including Jacey Little as Artistic Director. She's just fantastic. I'm really proud to be a part of Horse Head's new initiative.
BWW: What inspired you to write SPAGHETTI CODE?
Abby Koenig: I was inspired by my own personal experience with infertility and struggles for years to have a baby. I never even considered asking my best friend and husband to do what Millie wants hers to do in the play, but I did feel that desperation with her. After years of fertility treatments and going over other options I begin to wonder just what lengths someone would go through in order to have a baby.
BWW: When did you begin to write SPAGHETTI CODE?
Abby Koenig: Well I had most of it written in my head last summer. I'd say about 90 percent of it was in there.
BWW: What do you want the audience to take away with them after watching SPAGHETTI CODE?
Abby Koenig: One thing I want the audience to realize is that the issue of fertility is not just a woman's issue. This is an equal gendered show. There are no leads and the husband is a huge part of all the decisions because infertility is his problem too. In order to emphasize this point, SPAGHETTI CODE begins and ends with scenes where it's only the men of the play talking together.
The biggest thing I hope the audience takes away is the ability to bring infertility to the conversation. As regular people in society, we can bring it up and ask questions. There are a lot of couples that have infertility issues and some might think that they're alone and shouldn't talk about it, but I want to get people talking. There's no shame in it, and it might seem like something that just celebrities deal with and talk about, but regular people in society need to realize they're not alone.
BWW: What projects are coming up next for you?
Abby Koenig: Well I recently started working on a self help book. When I finished SPAGHETTI CODE, I found out that I was pregnant with twins so I've been very busy. It will be sort of a humor based memoire. I don't know when I will be finished.
See SPAGHETTI CODE presented by Horse Head Theatre Company on Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays July 12 through 28 7:30 at PJ's Sports Bar, 614 West Gray. For tickets and more information visit horseheadtheatre.org.
Photo courtesy of Horse Head Theatre Company