By Colleen Dunne, Publicity Coordinator for Madlab Theatre
Corey Ragan is a local teacher, director and writer who is currently directing The Breakdown, one of the short plays in MadLab’s Young Writers Short Play Festival, July 13-28. Colleen recently sat down with Corey for a Q&A.
Colleen: What is your favorite thing about the Columbus arts scene right now?
Corey: My favorite thing is the diversity of work being produced around the city. There are theaters that produce contemporary shows, classical/golden age shows, professional theaters, incredible children’s theater and theaters that focus on providing opportunities for playwrights to produce brand new work. Living in a city that has such a plethora of opportunities for artists is ridiculously exciting.
Colleen: How did you first get involved in theater?
Corey: Until middle school, I had only done a few small plays here and there. In seventh grade, I ran tech for my first show and I was hooked. Over the years, I have been lucky enough to study with incredible teachers and professionals. They are what has given me the drive to pursue this as a career. I’d like to give a special thanks to MadLab and Columbus Children’s Theatre. They both came into my life at crucial times and have provided me many opportunities that have shaped me as a person and artist. I am confident that I wouldn’t be who I am today without both theaters and every single person I have been lucky enough to work with at each.
Colleen: What is your favorite way to express yourself, artistically?
Corey: In the fall, I will be attending Ohio University to work towards an MFA in Directing. Without a doubt, that is my favorite way to express myself. Having the opportunity to put together a show and really decide what it means and how you want it to positively impact the world is one of my favorite things about directing.
Colleen: What inspires you?
Corey: As a former high school teacher, I am inspired when I see younger generations of students actively pursuing artistic endeavors. In my opinion, that is one of the coolest parts of the Young Writers Festival. There are 10 plays written by local high schoolers and the variety of topics that are expressed and explored is truly incredible. It’s an honor to get to direct an emotionally deep, character-driven play written by someone who just graduated high school. Additionally, I have two former students who are part of the festival this year, and it brings me immeasurable joy to see them growing and working as artists.
Colleen: How do you incorporate art into your life on a regular basis?
Corey: I try to immerse myself as much as I can in art. I almost exclusively listen to cast recordings from a variety of musicals or podcasts on theater. I also try to write and read as much as I can. As a fairly busy person, it can be really hard sometimes, but I have found myself so much happier when I am able to express myself.
Colleen: What is your favorite word?
Corey: Kerfuffle. You can’t say it without smiling. Try to, I dare you. Told ya so.
MadLab invites you to see Corey’s show and the other nine shorts in Young Writers 2018, playing July 13-28 on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. MadLab is located at 227 N. Third St., Columbus, OH, 43215. For more information about the Young Writers festival and how to purchase tickets, visit columbusmakesart.com. For more information about MadLab, visit madlab.net.