Claire Willett

playwright, novelist, writer-for-hire

The official website of Portland writer Claire Willett.

Press & Media

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February 3, 2014: Oregon Arts Watch Review "Willett mixes in storytelling folk songs from Steeleye Span, and adeptly balances the modern and the ancient, and raises questions of spirituality without proselytizing, in a manner similar to the children’s authors Eloise McGraw (Moorchild) and Madeleine L’Engle (the Wrinkle in Time series). Carter Hall is at a tender stage in its development, but it’s obviously a project with great promise."

January 26, 2014: "To Mom, Who Isn't Here: Why Fertile Ground Matters" (Oregon Arts Watch) "The two most important things in my life happened at almost the same time: my mother died, leaving me with a cavernous empty space in my life; and Trisha Pancio Mead took me out to a downtown dive bar for whiskey sours with a group of theater people and said, 'Guys, lets start a new play festival. And let’s make it open to everybody.'” 

January 19, 2014: Oregon Arts Watch Preview "Claire Willett, a member of another playwrights group, Playwrights West, talked enthusiastically about her newest, Carter Hall, a supernatural mystery based on the old Scottish folk tale Tam Lin and including songs by Steeleye Span. 'I went on a real Neil Gaiman binge,' she said, The story, she added, is still rough. She wants to get what she has on stage, gather an audience, and see where things stand."

January 31, 2013: Portland Monthly Review "Portland playwright Claire Willett's libretto, adapted from a less-known Norse myth, offers some intriguing character dynamics . . . and some rich concepts . . . composer Evan Lewis's unsettling score compliments the story's dark tone."

January 10, 2013: Fertile Ground Festival Playwright Interview Series Playwright Claire Willett and composer Evan Lewis are interviewed about their new opera The Witch of the Iron Wood. 

June 15, 2012: “Shakespeare Summer” Claire Willett is interviewed on Dmae Roberts’ radio show Stage & Studio about Milepost 5’s summer Shakespeare Festival.

January 23, 2012: Stage & Studio Preview Claire Willett is interviewed on Dmae Roberts’ radio show Stage & Studio about her upcoming reading of Dear Galileo.

January 23, 2012: Oregon Arts Watch Review “At last summer’s JAW new play festival, a couple of plays had a science orientation, too, and now I’m thinking that the city may need a ‘science theater’ to stage them all. Dear Galileo should be in its first season.”

January 2012: Oregonian Festival Recommendations Preview and Review “Willett’s ambitious writing was worthy of such resources . . . [Dear Galileo is] a very promising work . . . wears a love of learning on its sleeve . . . scrupulously shaped.”

January 2012: Portland Mercury Festival Recommendations Preview and ReviewDear Galileo is a promising new work, smart and sensitive . . .”

January 31, 2012: Willamette Week Review "It’s a potent, important idea, and Willett’s smart concept and attractive characters display real potential . . . [Dear Galileo is a] scientifically, dramatically, and emotionally intelligent play in progress.”

July 22, 2011: “The Space Between”Claire Willett is asked to contribute a guest post for national theatre/new work blog 2AMTheatre about her experience writing Dear Galileo during her recent artist residency.

June 10, 2011:  “Claire Willett Says, Keep Applying!” Claire Willett is profiled by Literary Arts as the 2010-2011 Oregon Literary Fellow for Drama about her writing life and her 2011 residency.

February 7, 2011: Oregon Literary Fellowships Announced Claire Willett is announced as the 2011 Oregon Literary Fellow for Drama.

January 12, 2011: Fertile Ground Festival Playwright Interview Series Playwrights Claire Willett and Gilberto Martin del Campo are interviewed about their upcoming staged reading That Was the River, This Is the Sea.

August 9, 2010: Exceptional Women Northwest Radio Interview Doug Zanger of Exceptional Women Northwest interviews Claire Willett about Catholicism, playwriting, Facebook, New York, and working at Oregon Ballet Theatre.

January 21, 2010: Oregonian A&E Cover Story: “Fertile Ground festival of plays and playwrights” Marty Hughley interviews Fertile Ground playwrights, including Claire Willett, about their work and the importance of the festival to Portland’s theatre community.

January 21, 2010: Adam Szymkowicz “Playwright Interview Project” Playwright Adam Szymkowicz has interviewed over 400 playwrights for his blog project.  In Part #106 he interviews Claire Willett about her play How the Light Gets In.