Name: Dani Vetere
Location: Los Angeles and New York
Writer Danielle Vetere has her name in bright lights burning up the outskirts of the Great White Way. With her full-length play Hadrian’s Wall opening after winning a slot in the highly-competitive Fringe Festival, she’s recognizing her dreams to become a denizen of dramaturgy.
Growing up in Staten Island, New York, Dani wanted to be an architect, but she shrugged off the idea around the same time that she figured out she preferred words to numbers. It didn’t take long for her passion to persuade her onto a path as a writer.
I was one of those weird, introverted, bookwormy kids living in their imagination.
“I was one of those weird, introverted, bookwormy kids living in their imagination. I remember two distinct moments in school that led me to think about writing. One was in the third grade when a teacher chose my short story to read out aloud, to my simultaneous pride and embarrassment. The other was in the eighth grade when my English teacher cited me while using the word “playwright” in a sentence as part of a spelling test: “Playwright. Danielle might someday be a playwright. Playwright.” I didn’t know what she was talking about. Years later, when it came time to choose college majors, it just made sense.”
After college, Dani dedicated herself to becoming a professional writer, obtaining a Master’s in the same illustrious NYU program where she’d attended undergrad. She also worked for several successful television shows that will remain unnamed as well as for a Broadway production. After a few years spent further honing her skills, she was hired by the Disney TV show Phineas & Ferb, and she moved to Los Angeles to truly live the proverbial dream.
Dani completed a full-length play and, on a lark, submitted it to the Fringe Festival, where it was accepted. In August, Hadrian’s Wall will make its Manhattan debut, and Dani will watch her words come to life in the city she misses fiercely.
The play is a pair love stories revolving around a reclusive archaeologist who is suspected of stealing an artifact from a dig fifteen years ago. “It’s really about the way we can hold onto the past, and base our identity on it, and feel protected by it, when really what we need to do is take risks to be safe and happy,” Dani explains. So is she nervous about opening night? And what’s it like to watch the process of a play coming to life?
“It’s trippy and fun and satisfying to see your work live – as opposed to on a screen – but it’s also very raw to sit there experiencing that at the same time everyone else is,” Dani explains. “Being in New York means it’s the most discerning audience possible and they’ll have an opinion about every single word that’s spoken. But it’s also all the more validating because of that,” she adds.
When asked about the future, Dani’s goals seem to be more simple than the drama she produces for stage and screen. “I want to keep being able to make a living writing, and to keep getting better at it. I’d like to always keep my priorities straight and not put money first. But I’d also like to be able to live in New York City without a roommate and still be able to buy something at Forever 21 once in awhile.”
For giving stories a shot and entertaining the masses, we think Danielle Vetere is a very Cool Girl! If you happen to be in the New York area in the month of August, check out Hadrian’s Wall at the Fringe Festival to see what all the fuss is about, or just take a peek at the play’s website or Facebook page.