Sheila Rinear, a New Jersey and San Antonio-based, award-winning playwright, screenwriter, director, and teacher has had work commissioned, developed and produced throughout the United States but especially in Texas where The Public Theatre of San Antonio and The Classic Theatre are her artistic homes. With over 60 of her plays produced as a result of winning various commissions, competitions, and invitations to Theater Festivals, she’s also been commissioned 7 times by the City of San Antonio to write and produce performance pieces for Luminaria, the Annual International Celebration of the Arts. Most recently Sheila’s had public staged readings of her full-length plays So When Are You Leaving? and Bound By Truth; and, a production of Pray for Us! They Sent Jim Cantore! Her plays are featured on the National New Play Exchange and 4 of her plays have recently been published by Leicester Bay Theatricals. Rinear also serves The Dramatists Guild as Ambassador for San Antonio. www.sheilarinear.com
Stories that I’ve either read or seen have always held me in life’s embrace because of engaging characters summoning up their courage (or whatever Life force is needed in their circumstances) to survive and thrive. The realization that I am now a storyteller myself affords me huge joy that also comes with the responsibility to create richly-drawn characters with credible motivations that move them through high stakes situations and resonating stories. These are goals I’ve taught my Theatre, English, and Playwriting Students to set for themselves for almost twenty-seven years. These are goals I place on myself when writing. Through all the years of teaching and raising my family, I continued to write but, retrospectively, I wrote with a parental or teacher’s or a woman-in-crisis-trying-to-find-her-way perspective. These are my underpinnings.
My writing now? Now I research and write serious history plays layered with wit and warmth; plays that trace the origins of oppression and/or greatness such as in my play Bound by Truth and Deities. Also, I definitely write many more strong characters for women than I used to. Probably because I’ve grown up and better understand what it is to be a woman. I find myself also forming collectives and writing grants for these collectives so we can perform works I’ve written on social justice/injustice to be performed in parks to woo and wow outdoor crowds. I write Children’s musicals. And I write comedy because I can and because I love to make people laugh…both Theatre Artists in production and Audiences witnessing our craft. I write plays because it is how I best connect my life with a world that I am at once terrified and optimistic for. I write plays with the heart of a lover, mother, friend, teacher, daughter, juror, sister and wife as my love letters to this dear world I so cherish.