In their fifteen years together, married actors Michael and Corinne have stood by their decision to focus on their respective careers and each other, and to not have children. When Michael is suddenly confronted with a heretofore unknown seventeen-year-old daughter begotten from a one-night stand, their years of meticulous planning are rendered useless. They must revisit the decision they made long ago and figure out how to assimilate a nearly grown-up child into their kid-free family dynamic, without losing each other in the process.
And Vaster started out as a different play entirely. A play that did not work, no matter what I tried to do to it. But I knew I had something special with the central characters, Michael and Corinne, and their relationship. Almost a whole year after giving up on making that first play work, I found this play in a poem. I discovered the work of Elizabeth Bishop by accident, and found myself reading her poem “One Art” over and over. I’m not drawn to poetry by nature, but it was clear that I had found it for a reason. Somewhere in the lines of that poem, I found And Vaster (its title borrowed from those same lines). I found the real story that Michael and Corinne had to tell, and by this point I knew the characters so well that the entire play poured out of me in less than two weeks, fully formed. I have never had an experience like that as a writer before or since. I probably never will again. It was something not unlike magic. And that’s about as much as I ever hope for when I write.
|Stage directions||Rachel Kostrna|
New York City. Present.
Skye Robinson Hillis is a playwright, director, and dramaturg based in Chicago. As a playwright, her work has been seen at The Route 66 Theatre Company, Chicago Dramatists, A Red Orchid Theatre, Piven Theatre Workshop, Artistic Home, Prologue Theatre Company, Polarity Ensemble Theatre, Columbia College, and the City of Chicago’s In the Works Play Lab at the Pritzker Pavillion in Millenium Park.
Her play And Vaster was awarded a residency at the New Works Lab at Stratford in 2015; winner of the 2015 Ashland New Plays Festival; and winner of the Holland New Voices Award at the Great Plains Theatre Conference. And Vaster was also recently named a semi-finalist for the Princess Grace Award. As a director and dramaturg, she has worked for Hartford Stage, Goodman Theatre, Court, A Red Orchid, Remy Bumppo, Stage Left, and more. Skye is currently pursuing her MFA in playwriting at Ohio University on a full scholarship.
- 2017: Holland New Voices Award and staged reading, Great Plains Theater Conference
- 2017: Semi-finalist, Bay Area Playwrights Festival
- 2016: Semi-finalist, Princess Grace Fellowship Award
- 2015: Workshop and reading, New Works Lab at Stratford
- 2015: Winner, Ashland New Plays Festival