Imagine writing a screenplay, then seeing it come to life at an off off Broadway theater. Former Westporter Amy Holson-Schwartz, 26, realized that dream this summer.
A 2002 Staples High graduate, Holson-Schwartz watched her first full-length play, "Can I Really Date a Guy Who Wears A Yarmulke?" run for five performances at the Beckett Theatre in Manhattan as part of the Midtown International Theatre Festival in July.
"It was amazing," Holson-Schwartz said. "You start with rehearsals, and you're sitting there, watching actors breathe life into thoughts that were in your head it's indescribable."
The inspiration for the play did not come from a bad dating experience, it came from a Birthright trip.
"A Birthright trip is when young Jews are sent to Israel for a week-and-a-half for free," Holson-Schwartz said. "It was the most difficult vacation I ever went on. When I got home, I was turned off by Israel and Judaism."
Though the trip played a major role in the play's development, a good-looking stranger on a subway is what set it into motion.
Shortly after returning from Israel, Holson-Schwartz was riding the subway when "a really cute guy got on and sat next to me." Then she noticed his yarmulke.
"I thought to myself, 'Why should I be turned off by that?'" she said. "That's when the idea to write about what it'd be like to date a guy like him popped into my head."
In addition to being a playwright, Holson-Schwartz, who now lives in New York, is the executive director of a small theater company called Festival Arts, which she co-founded in 2005. But having had a taste of Broadway, Holson-Schwartz said she's looking for her next idea.
"I'm sort of living day-to-day, so I'm not sure what'll happen next," she said. "It's exciting and scary."
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