Writers On The Web: Theme & Asking the Central Question – Interview with Creators of “Single Siblings” (Part 2)

In my last article, we talked about theme and asking the central question–namely, what the heck is my web series about? Here’s an example of a web series with both a compelling theme and central question that really drive the series, with hilarious results!

Chris Alvarado and Meryl Hathaway as Connor and Claire in Single Siblings

Single Siblings follows the adventures of brother and sister Connor and Claire, who are both unlucky in love. After breaking up with their current partners, they realize they might be just the right fit to help each other find that perfect match.

Single Siblings recently won the Audience Choice Award at the Give Hugs Comedy Film Festival in Los Angeles.

I interviewed co-creators Meryl Hathaway and Chris Alvarado about their background, what inspired the story behind the series, and what made them interested in creating their own work.

Meryl Hathaway is an actress, writer and improviser based in LA, originally from Maryland. She has studied and performed improv and sketch comedy at UCB in both NY and LA, is a performing member of the Story Pirates, and can currently be seen in numerous commercials as well as various short and independent films. She can also be seen in comedy videos from Funny or Die, UCB Comedy and College Humor.

Chris Alvarado is from Downey, CA, and spent three years in Chicago, training at The Second City Conservatory. Now in LA, Chris performs improv every Wednesday night at iO West and sketch comedy every Friday night at The Second City.

Rebecca: What was the genesis of the idea for Single Siblings?

C&M: We had met in passing but didn’t know each other well, or at all really! But for whatever reason, we both wanted to become friends and decided that could happen with trying to create something together. As we tossed ideas around we started noticing more and more that we kinda looked related and found our hook for the series from there.

Rebecca: What inspired you to create your own work?C&M: We really bonded in that first sit down over the overwhelming feeling we each had that we weren’t getting to act. Purely that, we wanted to be able to create and dig into characters that we knew we could play and perhaps wouldn’t get the opportunity to do unless we made it ourselves.
We really wanted to make “real” comedy, based in subtleties and relatable situations with a focus on relationships – be it siblings, romantic, friends, etc. Something that we don’t get to do in one-off comedy videos and projects that we don’t have the open doors to audition for yet. So we made it happen ourselves.
Rebecca: What would you say is the engine behind Single Siblings that allows you, as writers, to generate one funny story after another?C&M: Real experiences. Situations that all of us have been involved in or witnessed through other people, and there are so many of those because we’re all always going through something, successfully, or trying and failing.Rebecca: What would you say is the “central question” that Single Siblings strives to answer (ie. what is the “moral of the story,” or what keeps audiences engaged that inspires them to come back to see what happens each webisode?)
C&M: Will they find love? Is there someone out there to be the match that each of them is looking so hard to find?Check out Single Siblings on their website, and visit Chris and Meryl on Twitter!
Single Siblings the Series

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