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Survival of the Fittest Stories: An Interview with Playwright Anne Washburn

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Survival of the Fittest Stories An Interview with Playwright Anne Washburn By Nirmala Nataraj
Anne Washburn remembers her formative years as a Bay Area theater artist—in fact, one of her early creative homes was A.C.T.’s Young Conservatory program. “The culminating exercise was to imagine that a great plague had taken hold of the world, and the YC participants were all doctors who had to envision what they would do in the face of disaster,” says Washburn. “It seems appropriate that I’m coming full circle to do an apocalyptic play at A.C.T.”
   “Since all stories, no matter how fanciful, are in some way constructed from our experiences, real or imagined, all storytelling is a remaking of our past in order to create our future,” Washburn has written. Mr. Burns has accordingly been lauded as a celebration of the human instinct to tell stories—and a reminder of how deeply this instinct is tied to our endurance as a species.
Mr. Burns, as well as the circuitous route that stories take when …