Q&A with playwright and actor Aidan Eslinger

Conway Institute of Music

Aidan Eslinger Productions will host “Sister Secrets, the Stage Play” at the University of Central Arkansas in the Ida Waldran Auditorium on Saturday, February 23, 2019, at 5:00 p.m.

According to a press release,

“Aidan Eslinger is a 13-year-old writer, playwright, producer, and director. He has been writing professionally since he was 8 years old. In December of 2014, he produced his 1st stage play “Steve Comes Home.” In March of 2016, he wrote, directed, and produced Grandma’s Easter. This play had two productions, one in Little Rock, AR and the second in West Memphis, AR. Then in 2017, Aidan self-published his first children’s book “The Colorful Sky.” Aidan organized and completed a Kickstarter Campaign to garner the funds to publish!”

“Sister Secrets, the Stage Play” debuted on December 1, 2018, in West Memphis, AR.

According to the press release, “This is an adult stage play about five sisters and their mother, who runs a hair salon. Mama, has an unexpected tragic event and asks her five daughters to keep her hair salon up and running. In order for the sisters to fulfill her wish, they must deal with past issues, reveal their darkest secrets, and try to forgive one another.”

Tickets to the play are $10 and can be purchased at his website, www.aidaneslinger.com, or IT’S REAL NUTRITION, located at 1825 E. Oak Street. Suite 100. Conway AR 72032.

We caught up with Aidan to ask him a few questions about him and his talents.

Aidan Eslinger
Aidan Eslinger likes to sing too

CS: When did you know you wanted to write books and plays?

I knew I wanted to write books the first time I read a book. I would make books when I was 4 or 5 years old. So, the very first play I was in, I didn’t get the role I wanted. I thought to myself “I’ll just write my own play.” This is what sparked my interest. At that point, I think it was just something fun for me. I really knew that I wanted to write plays seriously was at the very end of the first play I wrote and directed. When I came from backstage to talk with the audience, and I saw dozens of people standing and applauding, because something that I created, something that I did made them happy. That’s when I knew I was on to something.

CS: What was it like to publish your first book? Play?

Well, when I published my first book, I was only ten years old, so I didn’t know that publishing a book was that big of a deal. I didn’t realize people spend years trying to get their books published, so with that being said, I was just happy to be able to go and read my book to kids and make people proud. For my first play, I also didn’t really realize exactly what I had done, I was 8 and just having fun. But so many people liked the show and I just felt happy that I made people happy. I know when I’m feeling down or upset a good book or going to a play can make me feel much better so being able to provide that moment of happiness for people really made me feel good.

CS: Who is your biggest inspiration for your creative writing?

I don’t really have a person that inspires me for creative writing, but something that does inspire me is that there is always a story that needs to be told. A story that always deserves to be told and that no story is more important than another. But people who inspire me, in general, include great playwrights and directors like Tyler Perry and David E. Talbert, my hometown Pastor James Morgan Jr. and my mentor Apostle Jonathan Davis. My parents are also big inspirations to me. Especially, my mom, she’s the muscle per se in making everything happen. She pushes me to turn my dreams into goals and to work hard towards them. Lastly, My great grandfather, he’s 97 years old, and he is always encouraging me to read, write, and sing. I just want to make him proud of me.

CS: What do you want others to know about the two teachers you dedicated your first book to (Mary Smith and Sarah Tyler)?

I want them to know that these two teachers gave me two critical skills that help me to write today. Ms. Smith gave me the love of reading which gave me an insight as to what makes a great book. And Mrs. Tyler gave me their love of writing. She taught me that I shouldn’t just write what’s on the rubric, but that I should write what I want and then apply it to the rubric. Everything I write should reflect me and my own writing style. Both of these two teachers pushed me to excel in everything I do.

CS: What has been your most prized accomplishment to date?

As of now, my most prized accomplishment has to be my latest play “Sister Secrets.” I say that just because of the level we were able to pull it off on and how many people really enjoyed it. It took a lot of hard work, logistics, planning, and rehearsals and I’m just very proud of my cast and crew and the entire team.

CS: What do you want the audience to know about “Sister Secrets, the Stage Play”?

I want people to know that there is something for everyone in this story and even though I’m a kid, this is not just a kid play. All of the actors are adults, and the plot can be pretty heavy. It deals with a lot of family issues that often gets swept under the rug. There is also some amazing music in this play!

CS: What do you do for fun when you are n’t writing, singing or acting?

Honestly writing, singing, and acting takes up a lot of my time. But, I also enjoy basketball, I played on my school team, and now I am training for summer competitive ball. Mostly I enjoy hanging out, laughing, talking, and making memories that’ll last a lifetime with my family, my little sister Ariah, and my best friends.

CS: What are your plans for the future in writing, acting, and music?

I hope to continue taking “Sister Secrets” to different cities. My second book “What I can be from A-Z” is in the hands of an illustrator, and I am working on a chapter book that I hope to publish soon. I plan to continue acting with Red Curtain theatre this summer, and I have many of my own stories I want to share with the world. With that being, I just want to continue to take everything I do up a notch and continue to get better at everything I do.

Check out “Sister Secrets, the Stage Play” Saturday night at the Ida Waldran Auditorium on the campus of UCA. Thanks, Aidan for taking time to visit!


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