An interview with the writer and director of Lateral Moves

By Amanda Heisey, Marketing Director 
The winner of the 2022 New Play Festival, Lateral Moves by Cece Dwyer, runs July 21-23 at The Players Studio. This comedy, directed by Candace Artim is about family affairs that come into play during a weekend at Martha’s Vineyard as an engaged millennial couple find their respective unattached boomer parents have the upper hand. Each playwright and director has a different process when molding their work, and a brand new piece like this one is the perfect opportunity to mold something completely original. I talked to both of the artists behind putting this brand-new show on stage.
Amanda: Please give me an elevator pitch of the show.
Cece: A rambunctious romantic comedy where artful gamesmanship comes into play when and engaged couple find their respective unattached parents have the upper hand.
A: What’s it like working on a brand-new show?
Candace: Exciting, humbling, challenging all at the same time! This is my second time directing a brand-new show. I previously had the honor of directing, Wonder of Our Stage by Monica Cross, winner of the 2018 Players New Play Festival. I remember thinking at the time “how do I do it justice, what is the playwright trying to say, is there a message or theme, can I do it and do it well?” I felt the same way this time with Cece’s play Lateral Moves. To be able take words from the page, words never heard before and bring them to life is a thrilling experience.
A: What are the challenges?
Candace: First and foremost, this play is a comedy, a “romantic” comedy. One in which played well can be most enjoyable to it’s audience. After some delightful conversations with our playwright, Cece, the word “farce” kept coming up. Being farcical in nature, it is the most challenging part for me and the actors. To find the funny, the physicality, the heart without all the doors opening and slamming is challenging.
A: How did you come up with the concept for the story?
Cece: Watching football.
A: What is your concept for direction of the show?
Candace: My concept for the show has to do with what I feel is the overriding message or theme and that is LOVE and the many challenges and changes it can bring at various stages of one’s life. What we witness through Cece’s words is love between couples at different ages; young love, baby boomer love, and folks of a certain age love. It isn’t
neat or tidy, nor is the sea always calm, yet somehow, as in life, it comes full circle.
A: What do you love about this piece?
Candace: Cece has written a play that shows real people, in real life, dealing with real situations and how they each handle those situations in a humorous way. Also, I love how Cece has let us take the reins and run with them. The seven actors have great ability, stamina, creativity and a willingness to explore their characters while having fun. We have laughed during every rehearsal and continue to find something new each time we meet.
A: What does the new play festival mean to new playwrights?
Cece: It should tell them that they just might be doing something right/write.
A: What do you ultimately want people to get out of your play? 
Cece: In today’s world, a laugh or two.
A: What else do you want others to know about The New Play Festival and developing a new work?
Cece: If at first you don’t succeed. . . .

A: What do you want others to know about The Players, the New Play Festival and your experience with Lateral Moves?
Candace: The Players Centre is a welcoming place with a committed staff who share the love of the performing arts. Since the directing process began, I have experienced a supportive team and a “get it done” positive attitude. From helpful production meetings to creative design concept discussions to fun photoshoots, the team has been collaborative and respectful. I am most grateful to all. With respect to the New Play Festival, I feel it is a wonderful opportunity for playwrights to present their work to our community. To get their words heard and hopefully seen. One never knows where it may lead. I am in awe of how a person can “put pen to paper”! Thank you Cece for writing such a fun romp that spans from a tiny apartment in NYC to the lovely shore of Martha’s Vineyard with such a charming group of characters.