BWW Interviews: Women's Work 2011: Lauren Schmitzer of CHLAMYDIA IS NOT A FLOWER


Tennessee Women's Theater Project has returned to Nashville's Z. Alexander Looby Theater for the fifth year running - continuing through Sunday, May 22 - for its annual Women's Work festival of performing and visual arts created by women. The festival cuts a broad swath across styles and genres to offer eleven completely different programs: poetry and essays; one-woman shows; staged readings of new plays; film, dance, music and a display of visual art works in the theater lobby. Women's Work ends its 2011 reign with Lauren Schmitzer's Chlamydia is Not a Flower (and other love lessons I missed). Schmitzer, a Nashville writer and former music journalist for Billboard and MTV, holds a BA in English from Vanderbilt University and, as she proudly says, "this is my first play," which she has entrusted to director David Williams to bring to the stage on Sunday night.

Tell me about your show... The show grew from a collection of short stories I wrote ("Mating Calls of the Migratory Male") when I realized my dating life seemed like a practice in natural selection. I've chronicled the good, the bad and the ridiculous situations to appreciate how these Seinfeld-like episodes helped shape my spirit.

How does this show reflect who you are as a woman? This show is meant to inspire fellow, hopeful late-bloomers. I want to share my story so other women feel better about their own. What we perceive to be mistakes are really just opportunities to grow. As women, we are so hard on ourselves. I want to lift us up so we stay true to ourselves and stay hopeful about what lies ahead for us.

What about this show speaks most eloquently to the audience? Men and women can relate to this show. We've all had our awkward moments growing up. We all have dating horror stories. This is a cathartic way to know we're not alone in our stories.

Why should people come see you? This show is hilarious and touching and relevant to us all. It makes you feel good - either that you're not me - or you are not alone in wondering if there is anyone truly out there for you.

How does this show represent your personal point of view? This show represents my steadfast hopefulness, even in times of enormous disappoint and grief,  that love and fate are waiting to be kind.

May 22, 2:30 p.m.: Staged Reading: Chlamydia Is Not a Flower - and Other Love Lessons I Missed by Lauren Schmitzer. Single tickets to Woman's Work are $5 each; a $30 Festival Pass is good for unlimited admissions. Women's Work opens Friday, May 6, at the Z. Alexander Looby Theatre, adjacent to the Looby Branch Library, 2301 Rosa L. Parks Blvd. The festival continues for eleven performances through Sunday, May 22. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, and 2:30 pm Sundays. For reservations and information, call (615) 681-7220, or visit the company's web site at

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From This Author Jeffrey Ellis

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