Playwright Profile

Lindsay Partain

Lindsay Partain

2022 New Voices Emerging Playwright

Return to Bio

Return to New Voices Retreat page

Currently residing: Tigard, Oregon

Growing up: Banks, Oregon

Creative beginnings: When I was growing up, I loved fairy tales and fantasy stories, and in turn I wrote a lot of magical fantasy stories. I didn’t actually realize playwriting was an option until I started college! It’s hard to point to one specific childhood instance that inspires me, because I would have to say that what impacts me and my writing most, when it comes to my childhood, are my memories growing up with my great-grandparents. They had a story for everything, loved so big, and gave my wild imagination the room it needed to grow.

What nurtured your playwriting: The friends that I have made in the playwriting community have truly kept me going and do so much to nurture me and my writing. When I’m burnt out on rejection or down on my work, there they are with words of encouragement, with a new opportunity to send to, with love and support and guidance. They are some of my very best friends, and I’m incredibly thankful for them.

Stories you gravitate toward telling: I still love fantasy and science fiction, and I’ve grown into my love of horror stories as well. I love these genres because they are some of my favorite ways to inject magic into the world I’m building, to examine what it means to be human, and to explore our romantic, platonic, and familial relationships. The stories I love to tell and that I’m most passionate about are relationships and finding a way to communicate the feelings for which we struggle to find the words.

Writing process: My writing process tends to happen in big chunks. Stories will come to me in flickers of images or dreams, and I’ll sit with them and the emotions they brought until I know where they need me to go. Then, when I have the story, I sit down and I write until I can’t anymore. When I get stuck, I go back to that image, I go back to the intention of the piece, and to the characters I’m building until I find my way.

Something I’ve learned about myself is that I can’t force myself to write before I’m ready; the words will come when they’re ready for me.

Currently inspired by: It’s not quite nostalgia, but lately I’ve been inspired by the impact of growing up in the early 2000s, especially in regard to dangerous fashion trends, mental health, and body dysmorphia.

Currently in the works: I’m working on editing my newest full-length play, The Light Keepers, which takes place in a sort of alternate-universe Oregon that only has one star left in the night sky. It focuses on high school seniors who are coming up on the first anniversary of the loss of their best friend, and during Homecoming week a window in the world is torn open, revealing another timeline where she is still alive.

I’ve also started working on a new full-length project that will examine growing up with (and the process of growing out of) the “cocaine-chic” aesthetic of the 90s and early 2000s.

Most looking forward to at ANPF: I am so looking forward to being surrounded by art, by artists, and by new big stories by local playwrights! I’ve lived in Oregon nearly my entire life and I’ve never had the pleasure of visiting Ashland, so that alone is something I’m incredibly excited about.

The biggest thing I’m looking forward to is being given the opportunity to learn from local professionals, to learn how to be better at my craft, so I can take it all back home with me and be a resource for other local playwrights.