Meet the Author: Christine Quintana
Meet the author behind the smart play Selfie—Christine Quintana!
Describe yourself in one sentence.
An anxious do-gooder; an earnest pessimist.
Tell us a little bit about your new book.
I was first inspired to write Selfie after hearing about the devastating sexual assault cases against minors in Maryville and Steubenville in the States. They were so horrific and so unbelievable, but because of that it makes it really easy to say “Well, that’s not me, that’s not anybody I know… and that would never happen at my school or in my community.” So I wanted to write a piece that really looked at how it does happen, because we know it does. The hope is that when audiences watch the play, they will be inspired to truly reflect on their own lives and ask the question: “How does this happen in our community?” We get so obsessed with the aftermath, but the question I want to pose is—how can we talk about consent in a way that prevents this from happening in the first place?
What’s something unique about you or something you like to do?
Pre-pandemic, I would have told you I was a real theatre nerd with no other interests or hobbies—super grateful that the great pause in our industry has revealed me to have a bit more of a life than I thought I did! I really enjoy tending to my dozens of houseplants and have revived a too-long dormant love of reading, particularly non-fiction. I bake not-that-great cookies, I’m a terrible knitter, and I’ve learned how to really enjoy taking luxurious baths. That counts as a personality, right?
What is something that you enjoy doing, and why?
During these long pandemic days, I’ve come to really love going on long walks through my neighbourhood in East Vancouver. It’s such a pleasure to get to know the dogs and kids and folks in my community in a way our busy lives never really allowed us to before. I feel observant and in touch with the changing of the seasons in a way I’d never felt before—I’m so grateful for that.
What are some of your favourite plays?
What a challenging question! Some plays that I love very much—King Arthur’s Night by Niall McNeil and Marcus Youssef; Anywhere But Here by Carmen Aguirre; Onegin by Veda Hille and Amiel Gladstone; Island by José Teodoro; and, though I am heavily biased, I think Take d Milk, Nah? is one of the most beautiful shows I’ve seen. Okay now I have to stop because I’m getting stressed that I’m missing something!
What are you reading these days?
A bit of everything right now—I just finished the exquisite Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo. On my nightstand right now: Happiness, As Such by Natalia Ginzburg, The Selected Works of Audre Lorde, Gathering Moss by Robin Wall Kimmerer, What We Don’t Talk About When We Talk About Fat by Aubrey Gordon, and Sonnet’s Shakespeare by Sonnet L’Abbe.
What’s something that makes you laugh?
I can always turn to @tikatheiggy and @yaboi_toby_toad on Instagram to make me smile. The world is burning, but the sight of a chubby toad in a miniature Porsche is sometimes the best medicine one can get.
Learn more about Christine Quintana:
Born in Los Angeles to a Mexican American father and a Dutch British Canadian mother, Christine Quintana is now a grateful visitor on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh nations. Other playwriting highlights include Never The Last (co-created with Molly MacKinnon), winner of a Significant Artistic Achievement Award. Christine is a Siminovitch Prize Protégé winner for playwriting and is currently playwright-in-residence at Tarragon Theatre. She is a proud founding member of the Canadian Latinx Theatre Artist Coalition and holds a BFA in Acting from UBC.