Gina Wilhelm Actress – Writing is a Family Affair
Zoe Kazan is one of the youngest playwrights ever to have a play produced at the Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors Theatre of Louisville.
This isn’t that surprising; her grandfather is Elia Kazan, writer of “On the Waterfront.” Her parents are both Oscar-nominated screenwriters.
Her father, Nicholas Kazan, also had a play produced at Actors Theatre. They are the only father and daughter to have had shows produced there.
The play, “Absalom,” is her first. The director, Giovanna Sardelli, was so impressed by the script, she assumed it was written by a 40-year-old man, not a 25-year-old.
This caps off a big year for Ms. Kazan, who made her Broadway debut in January 2008 in “Come Back, Little Sheba.”
She’s also appeared in “The Seagull” on Broadway with Cynthia Nixon and Peter Sarsgaard this year.
On film, she appeared in “The Savages” with Laura Linney and Philip Seymour Hoffman and “The Valley of Elah” with Tommy Lee Jones.
She also had a pivotal role in “Revolutionary Road” as a woman who has an affair with Leonardo DiCaprio’s character.
She was involved in the casting of “Absalom,” which gave her insight into her own acting auditions.
Choosing others for roles, she realized that an actor may just not be the right person for a role. “It isn’t a failing not to be chosen.”
After the Festival, Kazan will visit with family before returning to film acting. She admits, however, that she has caught the playwriting bug.
Sardelli, her director, is impressed by Kazan’s maturity. It’s clear she has a bright future ahead of her.