Meron Langsner, PhD is a playwright, scholar, fight director, and educator based in NYC. He was one of three writers in the United States selected for the pilot year of the National New Play Network Emerging Playwright Residencies. His plays have been performed around the country and overseas, and published by Bloomsbury, Smith & Kraus, Applause, and YouthPLAYS. As a fight director, he has composed violence for over 150 productions, tours, and films in venues ranging from LORT theatres to major educational institutions. His writing on theatre and performance has appeared in popular, trade, and peer-reviewed scholarly journals. These include Backstage, HowlRound, The Theatre Times, and The Sondheim Review. He holds masters degrees from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and Brandeis, and a doctorate from Tufts University, where he received the Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education. He is on the Core Faculty of the Tom Todoroff Conservatory and a member of Athena Theatre's 2017 resident playwrights' group.
Where were you born? Where do you live/work?
I was born in Brooklyn, NY. I currently live in NYC, again.
What fuels your desire to act/create?
It is my way of both making sense of the world and of making the world make sense.
How do you work with overcoming fear/doubt?
I try to find the best collaborators possible. In the right company, anything feels possible.
What is your greatest obstacle in working with self?
How do you heal from rejection?
By moving on to the next project and by having multiple projects in play at different stages at once. It is important to know that not everything is a fit for every organization.
What are you inspired by NOW?
I am currently in the Athena Writes writing group at Athena Theatre, where I have the benefit of very smart and very supportive colleagues. I leave each session excited about what I am working on and the work of my colleagues.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
To keep revising. To write more bad drafts. To be less generous with some of the toxic people who make their way into the arts. To find a parallel career sooner. I find that my life in real estate has had a far more positive influence on my work as an artist than I would have ever expected.
Who has had a powerful influence on your work?
My two most influential teachers have been Stephen McKinley Henderson and Kazimeirz Braun.
What is your next project or a recent project?
I have a short play in Athena Theatre's A New Memory festival coming up at Symphony Space in NYC and I am fight directing a short play for the Downtown Urban Arts Festival. I am also working on several articles and a scholarly book project, as well as revisions of two full-length plays that I've been working on for some time.
Have you experienced discrimination? What happened? How did it affect you? What did you do to heal? How did you claim your power back? How did this experience help you grow?
I have been told that I was not welcome in various projects as an Israeli-American. This, of course, was very upsetting. I had the good fortune to have other projects going on (as I mentioned earlier, this is a state I try to maintain), and those were instrumental in helping me keep going. I have channeled some of the experience into various plays as well.
What is your advice to self in pursuing the business side of work? Do you have advice for making/producing your own work?
I've found it extremely valuable to pursue and learn business outside the arts. Our work is extremely personal and this can cloud our judgement. By learning in a field that is less personal, the principles are more apparent and more easily applied to our own work.
I also wrote a piece some time ago on what I've come to call The Doctrine of Love or Money
10 things that make you happy are...
-Discovering how to move forward in an artistic project
-Seeing my students succeed
-Kung Fu movies
-Sushi, steak, and breakfast (not necessarily at the same time)
-Practicing martial arts
-Really good whisky
-Seeing excellent technique in an MMA match
How do you reward yourself for a job well done?
By letting myself take a break.
What are your creative hopes and dreams?
I would like to see a wider reach for my plays. I hope one day soon to climb Mount Novel. I would also like to see theatrical fight direction get the respect it deserves.
In 2017, SUPER SPACE is serving as a vehicle to facilitate Created to Create Project.
CREATED TO CREATE
INTRODUCING ONE ARTIST PER WEEK, FOR 52 WEEKS IN 2017.
Beginning, January, 1st, 2017
ACTORS, ARTISTS, THEATRE MAKERS, FILM MAKERS, DESIGNERS, TEACHING ARTISTS, STUDENTS all chosen because they spend a part each day creating. Artists will be chosen in no particular order.
Introduce artists from different parts of the world. People who use different mediums and whose practice is at a different skill level. A thing they all have in common is unique sense of style and self-expression.