3 Questions with Playwright Reys Phillips

Super New Play Special! A Festival of Short Works runs May 13 & 14 at Playwrights Local. This event features seven ten-minute plays by writers from Northeast Ohio, all presented by local directors, actors, and other theater artists. 

Third in the lineup for Super New Play Special! A Festival of Short Works is Moth to a Flame. This piece by playwright Reys Phillips is directed by Eva Nel Brettrager and features Adam Harry, Cat Kenney, and David Munnell.

Thanks to Reys for this preview!

How would you describe your play in terms of ideas, tone, and genre

Moth to a Flame is a love story between a lovestruck moth and a lonely spider. Although stories of star-crossed lovers and forbidden romances have existed many times before, the play adds an additional tragedy with the moth’s fascination and desire to be killed by their love’s venom. Ultimately, it is a win-win scenario for both parties, one choosing their own death while the other receives a free meal, but there is a sadness to both their stories that becomes more evident as the night passes on. At its core, Moth to a Flame is a story about love and the regrets made along the way.

What was your inspiration for this idea, whether it came from real life, other literary works, or from somewhere else?

The idea for this play came from the song “Spider Suite” by the Duke of Uke and His Novelty Orchestra. While listening to the story contained in the lyrics, I pictured a moth who fell helplessly in love with a spider and became fascinated with the idea of dying due to the spider’s venom. The song itself contains three parts that follows the initial singer from the moment of their obsession to their eventual demise. I found a certain beauty in this tragedy and wanted to turn this feeling I had in listening to the song into a tragic love story.

What other plays and projects do you have going on, and what’s next for you?

My mind is currently swarming with dozens of love stories that are begging to be written. At this point in time, I’m working on writing my first original romance novel with plans to self-publish once it has been written and polished. I have considered traditional publication and its process, but I find myself still in that awkward stage where I feel my writing is “too weird” to be sold to publishers. The story itself follows childhood friends torn apart by societal expectations and the fears embedded by the adults around them. It looks like I’ll be following the theme of love stories in an uphill struggle for a little while longer, but I hope to give my stories more happy endings than sad as I continue building myself as a writer.