“I don’t think I can pretend not to be a writer anymore,” admits film and stage actress Zoe Kazan, 28, who makes her New York playwriting debut when the Manhattan Theatre Club premieres We Live Here on October 12. Says the daughter of Hollywood screenwriters and granddaughter of famed director Elia Kazan: “It was just this thing I did on the side.” That is, until her diversion became a second career. In addition to We Live Here, which centers on an intense sibling relationship (“My sister cried when she read it,” says Kazan), she recently wrapped production on the film based on her first screenplay, a comedy written for her boyfriend, Paul Dano (Cowboys & Aliens, There Will Be Blood), and directed by the duo behind Little Miss Sunshine. For the transparently anxious Kazan, perhaps the greatest difficulty in being a scribe has been the lack of immediate feedback. “When you’re acting onstage, you can hear the audience,” she says. “Not so with writing.”

Photo: CNP Montrose