MG: Mint chocolate chip.
KLC: Where’s the coolest place you’ve ever traveled to and what was so cool about it?
MG: I went to the Darvaza gas crater in the middle of the Karakum Desert in Turkmenistan. It was dug in the 70s by Soviet engineers exploring for natural gas, and then when they decided to abandon it someone thought to throw a match in it to burn off the last of the gas, and it's been burning ever since. You drive in a jeep over unmarked dunes deep into the empty desert and then you arrive at this massive crater, about 250 feet across and a hundred feet deep, filled with roiling flames. As the sun sets the crater glows brighter and brighter--it's mesmerizing, you can't look away. We camped next to it in little tents and I kept waking up and wandering outside all night long to stare at it and listen to its quiet roar. Now it's kind of a trendy extreme-tourist destination but when I went we were the only people around for what felt like hundreds of miles. Here, check it out:
KLC: Name one movie you can quote and then quote it.
MG: Say Anything, Cameron Crowe:
"I don't want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don't want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed or repair anything sold, bought or processed as a career, I don't want to do that. My father's in the Army and he wants me to join, but I can't work for that corporation. So what I've been doing lately is kickboxing. Which is a new sport, but I think it's got a good future. As far as career longevity I don't really know, you know, because if you're eight and six as a fighter it's no good, you have to be great, but I can't really tell if I'm great until I've had a couple of pro fights. But I haven't been knocked out yet. I don't know, I can't figure it out all tonight, sir. I'm just going to hang with your daughter."
(I hope I have that right!)
KLC: Pick one: Eleanor Roosevelt, Angela Davis, or Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
MG: That's a toughie but if I can't say three-way tie I'll say Angela Davis. Her prison abolition work is very important to me.
KLC: The United States electoral process is _______________________.
MG: ...something I should strive to understand better.
KLC: What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever done to get someone’s attention?
MG: Asked her in a frank, transparent manner for a date.
KLC: If you had the opportunity to patent a brand new product, what might that be?
MG: Software that delivers electric shocks to you through your keyboard when you open Twitter.
KLC: Which of the following is least likely to ever exist: bigfoot, elves, or government regulation on Wall Street?
MG: Regulation of Wall Street.
KLC: Wild card question! Have you ever won a medal, trophy, ribbon, etc. for something that had absolutely nothing to do with writing? What was it??
MG: I was a regionally decorated competitive tap dancer as a kid. I had a couple nice second-place finishes with my team, got some ribbons with the silhouette of a lady doing a grand jeté on them. But the real question is: does this really have absolutely nothing to do with writing? No but really?
KLC: Can you share something about yourself that no one has ever asked you about in an interview before?
MG: I recently consulted a pet psychic via telephone and she blew my mind.
Madeleine George's plays include The (curious case of the) Watson Intelligence (Pulitzer Prize finalist; Outer Critics Circle John Gassner Award), Seven Homeless Mammoths Wander New England (Susan Smith Blackburn finalist), Precious Little, and The Zero Hour (Jane Chambers Award, Lambda Literary Award finalist). They've made their way to the stage through workshops at Berkeley Rep, Soho Rep, New York Theatre Workshop, Manhattan Theatre Club, About Face Theater, and the O'Neill Playwrights Conference, and have been performed for the viewing public at Playwrights Horizons, Clubbed Thumb, 13P, Shotgun Players in Berkeley, City Theatre in Pittsburgh, Theater Wit in Chicago, Perseverance Theatre in Alaska, and Two River Theater Company in New Jersey, among many other places. Madeleine has been a Princess Grace Playwriting Fellow, a MacDowell Fellow, and a two-time writer-in-residence at Hedgebrook. She is also the author of two novels for young adults, was a founding member of the Obie-Award-winning playwrights' collective 13P (Thirteen Playwrights, Inc.), and for seven years served as director of the Bard College satellite campus at Bayview Correctional Facility in Manhattan.