CampusStudent spotlight

SF State playwright encapsulates hilarity of everyday life

playwright

Graham Gremore, a candidate for a master's of fine arts in creative writing, takes to the seats where audience members get the chance to hear his humour-heavy plays. Photo by Virginia Tieman / Xpress

It’s one thing to recall a moment of hilarity in everyday life and quite another to translate that amusement into writing.

Graham Gremore, a master’s degree candidate at SF State in creative writing with an emphasis in playwriting, humorously puts it all out there when he’s writing plays or reading his works on stage.

“A lot of what I write about is inspired by true events from my everyday life,” Gremore said. “It seems like every other day something weird or off-kilter happens to me.”

Gremore wrote and performed a one-man show “Private Parts,” a humorous retelling of stories from his youth in Minnesota, complete with songs and piano playing. It sold out nine out of its 12 performances at the SF Playhouse this past February.

“It was basically a collection of stories from my childhood, stories about my family and my neighbors and the people who I grew up around,” Gremore said. “It chronicles different things that happened over a period of time in the ‘90s.”

During his teenage years, Gremore wrote and acted in plays at SteppingStone Theatre for Youth in St. Paul, Minn. Artistic director Richard Hitchler remembers Gremore as a quiet, creative and mischievous, but also a good-natured teen who blossomed during his time there.

“I think he’s a very whimsical writer,”  Hitchler said. “He creates believable characters. There’s a sense of introspection that comes through in his writing.”

Anne Galjour, a lecturer in SF State’s creative writing department, has invited Gremore to her classes as a guest lecturer and worked with him during “Private Parts.”

“I was inspired by his work. Particularly his stick-to-it-iveness in the revision process,” Galjour said.

Currently, Gremore produces the humor writing series LitUp Writers, a platform for writers with several performances each year.

“Each show features a different theme and a different group of writers. People submit their humorous essays and then my partner (Jennifer Lou) and I pick the ones that fit best together and then we invite those people on our stage,” Gremore explained. “Our largest show had, I think, 200 people turn out for it.”

Next up for Gremore is the January 2013 launch of Storyfarm, a creative nonfiction cooperative “for writers, thinkers and other interesting animals” started with creative writer Peg Alford Pursell. It was facilitated by the Intersection for the Art’s Incubator Program, a sponsorship program set to help artists and aspiring nonprofits.

“We are going to offer literary readings featuring published creative nonfiction writers, offer classes and workshops, seminars and social events,” Gremore said.

He will soon be seen on the LGBT news and entertainment site Queerty.com. After submitting his YouTube video depicting his essay, “You can’t be gay unless you have a job,” to the site, he received an email from managing editor Dan Avery asking him to freelance. The video has garnered more than 8,000 views.

“We’ll see where it goes, but I’m really excited to be writing for them,” Gremore said. “For me, writing is more about satisfying others than it is about satisfying myself.”

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Laura Savage

Laura Savage