The Write Space is a monthly Q&A series from Creative Collective covering a local writer and a North Shore space(s) s/he associates with writing. Questions? Suggestions? Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Give us your best writerly bio.
Shari D. Frost is a playwright, screenwriter, and writing consultant based on Boston’s North Shore.
Shari’s plays have been produced at the Boston Theater Marathon, the Warner International Playwrights’ Festival, the New Works Festival, and Our Voices. The Driving Lesson is published in New World Theatre’s ‘A Solitary Voice: A Collection of Epic Monologues’, 2018. I Just Love That Keith Urban is published in Smith & Kraus’ ‘The Best Ten-Minute Plays 2017’. Bang for the Buck is published in Smith & Kraus’ ‘The Best Ten-Minute Plays 2015’ and was a regional finalist for the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival. Two Left(ist) Feet, One Last Dance was a national finalist for the Playwrights’ Center’s Core Apprentice Program.
Shari’s current project, hAPPily ever, a comedy TV pilot and series, just advanced to the quarterfinals of the Page International Screenwriting Awards in July. Her screenplays include Low and Outside (2015 quarterfinalist: Academy Nicholl Screenwriting Fellowships, Austin Film Festival Screenwriting Competition, Final Draft Big Break Screenwriting Competition) and Gap Year (2014 Austin Film Festival Screenwriting Competition.) Shari is currently a reader for the Austin Film Festival.
A former member of the Board of Directors of Marblehead Little Theatre, Shari is also the creator of, and continues to produce, MLT’s annual TNT! – Totally New Theater Playwrights’ Collective and Festival.
Shari is a member of the adjunct faculty at Lesley University, where she received her MFA in Creative Writing with a concentration in Writing for Stage & Screen. Shari is also a Grub Street instructor (where she’ll be teaching TV writing and screenwriting this fall) and is available for private consults.
Tell us about a North Shore Write Space.
I live in a very old house – it was built in 1887 – and it has a tiny cupola above the attic. There are windows on all four walls, so there’s incredible light, even on a cloudy day, and in winter, once the leaves fall, I can see a sliver of ocean, and even a ship or two heading to Boston. About ten years ago I painted the space a sky blue, and brought in a mini-fridge that I keep stocked with sparkling water, and bookshelves that hold all my craft books and favorite plays. It’s my version of the ‘she shack’ I guess! I haven’t worked up there as much recently – I‘ve kind of spread out all over the house — but my plan is to de-clutter, spruce up, and reclaim this space this fall.
The thing is, I really love to get out of the house and work in coffee shops and public spaces. I write in pretty much every coffee shop in Marblehead. And I also love to drag my writer friends on ‘writing retreats’ at Gulu Gulu in Salem and Atomic Cafe in Beverly (and at the Boston Public Library.) I get so energized just imagining all the cool things everyone around me is working on! Plus there’s coffee…and pastries…
When I’m breaking a new story, or doing some story problem solving and thinking through notes and feedback, I like to walk my labradoodle around town and maybe stop and hang out in Crocker Park or Fort Sewall. There’s something super focusing about staring out at the ocean while I’m thinking. Usually, something interesting will come to me, though often it’s about an entirely different project! (But hey, that works too!)
When I’m in North Shore, not writing, I’m …
I love love love hanging out, or taking long walks around Marblehead, or doing just about anything with my husband, my kids, and my friends! When I’m on my own I’m always in the middle of a good book. I’m a voracious reader. I love reading outdoors in summer – on my porch or at Crocker Park – and in front of a fire in winter. I also love dancing, which these days translates to cardio dance classes. I’m in the process of developing a cardio ballet class that focuses on fitness and fun, as opposed to technique, and I hope to have it ready to go by the fall. And, well, of course, there’s nothing like a good Netflix or HBO binge sesh!
What are you working on now?
I’m currently developing a comedy TV pilot and series called hAPPily ever. The series asks how do we, and how should we, identify our life partners? It’s a deep dive into digital dating — lots of wack YouTube-worthy, digital dating encounters — and down below our surface differences. It’s all about points of intersection, and just how similar – how human! – we really all are.
And finally –
It’s tricky to share an excerpt from hAPPily ever, but I can share the logline: “It’s game on for competing entrepreneur coders in Cambridge, MA when he launches a hopelessly romantic dating app that guarantees happily ever after, and she fights to protect both her hot hookup app, and her hella fragile heart…from him.”