Monday, March 23, 2015

I Interview Playwrights Part 731: Lisi DeHaas



Lisi DeHaas

Hometown: New York, New York.

Current Town: New York, New York. (Since 2009)

Previous Towns: San Francisco & Los Angeles (1991-2008)

Q:  Tell me about Leave Me Green.

A:  LEAVE ME GREEN explores the relationships among a group of New Yorkers touched by loss. It takes place in the winter of 2009 when Gay marriage was not yet legal in New York State. It centers on Rebecca Green, and her son Gus, who have just lost their third family member, Inez, to the war in Iraq. It addresses issues I have written and performed about over the last two decades: gender and sexual identity, how the personal is political, GLBT rights- specifically marriage equality and the importance of speaking openly about our families. It’s a good old American “kitchen sink” drama. It’s a story about a non-traditional family struggling with grief, in a traditional dramatic container. The play is a dramatic reflection of my worst fears. What if I lost my life partner and was left a single parent? What if grief overcame me and I became an active alcoholic? What if my son felt betrayed by not knowing the origins of his birth story? The play formed out of my recent experience mourning three sudden deaths in my family, one of which left my nephew without his mother. As I struggled with my own grief, and my family’s grief, writing the play became an affirmation of the fullness of life. It was in and of itself a practice, a commitment to living.

Q:  What else are you working on now?

A:  A couple New York City plays. One, in very early stages, is a full-length four-character play about two misfit middle-aged people who reconnect upon returning home to their neighboring childhood apartments after the deaths of their respective parents. The other, Balloon Man & Cat Lady, is a one-act about an alcoholic ventriloquist who sells balloons in the park, and his feral cat rescuer wife. They play explores their doomed co-dependent sinkhole of a relationship the only escape from which is death. The play needs some work to become the comedy I hope it will be.

Q:  Tell me, if you will, a story from your childhood that explains who you are as a writer or as a person.

A:  One of the first stories about my childhood is that at three years old I pounded on the locked door of my parent’s room and yelled, “Someone open this fucking door!” – and lo and behold, they stopped whatever it was they were doing in there, and did. My, “If you Hear something, Say something”, strategy was very effective. Unfortunately my take no prisoners pre-school attitude waned in the face of my childhood fascination with ballet. I studied at the American Ballet Theatre School near Lincoln Center, which has long since been torn down. It was a very cool building- featured in the classic film The Turning Point. What they didn’t show in the movie was the epic roach infestation throughout the school. The older students had a great show where they would pull back the cork board in the lobby to reveal what was behind it: a shiny rectangular teeming mass of roaches. I would stand at a safe distance from this horror, as other kids feigned terror with delighted squeals, and wonder at their bravery. At age nine I was cast as “Fifth Position” in the ballet Etudes and I got to do a grand plié (in fifth position, of course) and a little jete on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera House. Suffice it to say that is the largest theatre I’ve ever had the privilege to perform in. In college, I discovered that if I did something called “Dance-Theatre”, I could actually talk while dancing. This was a welcome discovery. I decided to become a Performance Artist and move to San Francisco; because the birth of my literal and figurative voice coincided with my realization that I was batting for the, “Other”, team. At 22, I made a performance called, “Recipe For Grief”, about a Midwestern housewife testifying to the murder of her transgender lover by her husband. At the end of this piece, having stripped off my 50’s housewife attire and hung it on a clothesline behind me, I did a naked movement sequence consisting mostly of back bends, then smashed eggs on my head to represent the bashing. The piece ended with a blood-curdling scream. Eventually the text in my work became central, even though the characters I portrayed were discovered through improvisation in the studio. Twenty years later I’m writing stories for other people to perform, but my writing evolved out of my own experience of being a performer.

Q:  If you could change one thing about theater, what would it be?

A:  Three things: More diversity, More accessibility, More resources.

Q:  Who are or were your theatrical heroes?

A:  Jean Genet, Antonin Artaud, Mabou Mines, Bill T. Jones, Tony Kushner, Larry Kramer, Lisa Kron, Peggy Shaw & Lois Weaver, Alvin Ailey, Paula Vogel, Eugene O’Neill, Tennessee Williams, Paul Rudnick, Peter Brook, Kate Bornstein, Justin Vivian Bond, Lee Theodore, Jerome Robbins, Bob Fosse, Holly Hughes, Suzan Lori Parks, Sonya Sobieski, Tommy Kail & Lin Manuel Miranda, Karen Hartman, Tanya Barfield, Aristotle, Anna Halprin.

Q:  What kind of theater excites you?

A:  Theatre that isn’t afraid to get personally political in service of the greater good. Lisa Kron’s, “Well”, “Fun Home”. Doug Wright’s “I am My Own Wife”. Suzan Lori Parks, “Father Comes Home From The Wars”. I like theatre that is physical, embodied, an emotional journey for the performers and the audience. I loved the Anne Washburn and The Civilians’, “Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play” Virtuosic spectacle. Musicals. Melodrama. Theatre of the Absurd. Drag. Transformation. Catharsis. Work that opens our mind and heart simultaneously.

Q:  What advice do you have for playwrights just starting out?

A:  Share your work regularly, get feedback from a group. Bearing witness and supporting other people’s creative process feeds your own. Find a writing routine, a sustainable ritual, and stick with it. I get up very early in the morning, make coffee, light candles, burn sage, and write for a couple hours. If I don’t have to go into work and my family life allows it, I write for longer. If I stick with this structure three, ideally five, days a week, I enjoy writing much more than if I stop and have to get started all over again. Momentum is key. It’s always my goal to see as much theatre as possible: new work in progress as well as full productions. This being said, I am nowhere near close to seeing as much as there is to see on any given week in this city.

Q:  Plugs, please:

A:  My new play LEAVE ME GREEN, directed by Jay Stull, is at The Gym at Judson, 243 Thompson St., in a limited run through April 11th. You can find more information on our Facebook page: https://www.Facebook.com/LeaveMeGreen or call: (866) 811-4111 for tickets.


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Saturday, March 21, 2015

I Interview Playwrights Part 730: Shirley Lauro



Shirley Lauro

Hometown: I was born and raised in Des Moines, Iowa.

A great place in which to grow up and come from!

Current Town: I came to Manhattan after a BS @Northwestern and MFA @U. of Wisconsin. I taught at Tisch, City College and Yeshiva U. and wrote part time, publishing a novel for Doubleday: THE EDGE. Then I left teaching and began to write plays in New York. I’ve lived in Manhattan for many years now, and call it my home. I love the city – the theater, ballet, music, museums, people – I can’t ask for anything more.

Q:  What are you working on now?

A:  I just finished an article for Samuel French that will appear in their online website in their Breaking Character section. It concerns an Israeli production of my play, ALL THROUGH THE NIGHT, which centers on innocent, country German Gentile girls coming of age in The Third Reich. This production was startlingly different from the New York and other productions in that Israelis saw 30’s Germany as decadent, with a production reminiscent of CABARET. It was mesmerizing.

I’m now working on a play whose subject matter is the relationship of a mentally ill mother and her daughter. The theme deals with what a child’s responsibility to a parent as opposed to her responsibility to self. The play is set in Iowa ( as are THE CONTEST, THE COAL DIAMOND, NOTHING IMMEDIATE, and SUNDAY GO TO MEETIN’)

Q:  Tell me, if you will, a story from your childhood that explains who you are as a writer or as a person.

A:  While growing up in Des Moines, I was lucky enough to become part of Drake University’s Children’s Theater. We had a season of our own in the University Theater and then we toured Iowa with our fairy tales. I was committed to becoming an actor at the time and was cast as “Cinderella”, Miss Minchin in “The Little Princess,” the Witch in “Sleeping Beauty” much to my delight. Unfortunately no Disney scout swooped down on the scene in Iowa to give me a contract. Point of fact, I think there were no live actors doing Disney movies then. So I was never spotted or signed to become a Disney star. But that Children’s Theater sparked a deep passion for theater in me. Our coach had studied with Marie Opspenskia (sp?), the great Russian Method actress. That coach instilled in me a deep passion for theater that is with me today.

Q:  If you could change one thing about theater, what would it be?

A:  A recognition of the theater as an art form instead of an avenue for escapism: sex, flash, and bling! I know that escapist theater has always been with it – but it seems more and more prevalent on the Broadway and Off-Broadway stages now. Only the Indie Off-off Broadway theaters seem to dare to do classics, re-interpretation of the classics, and modern serious plays.

Q:  Who are or were your theatrical heroes?

A:  The great American dramatists from the 20th Century: O’Neill, Miller, Williams. Particularly Williams because of his masterful depictions of women. Also – from the past: Ibsen, the social conscience playwright, who again had such a grasp of women as they were in the late 19th/early 20th centuries. I did a Master’s Thesis on Williams and Ibsen on this very theme. And of course Shakespeare. What playwright would not mention Shakespeare, who impacted us all – from high school to The Old Globe in England, to the American productions.

Q:  What kind of theater excites you?

A:  Straight plays, serious plays with magnificent actors, inspired costumes, scenery, lighting. THE AUDIENCE knocked me out in the recent Broadway import from England. With Helen Mirren doing Queen Elizabeth II, exquisite lighting/scenery/costumes – I was awestruck. Wish America would do plays like that!

Q:  What advice do you have for playwrights just starting out?

A:  Get training in all aspects of theater: acting, directing, designing. Theater is theater and a group art. Not steeped in all elements that put a play on the stage is a huge disadvantage. Coming from an English background rather than a theater background is a disadvantage and tends to make one academic rather than theatrical!

Stick with the theater for your training before you jump into writing for TV, big screen, small screen. Being told what to do: how characters are supposed to behave and scenes to move, and what the ending must be – all within a time framework – these are hugely destructive to the playwright’s creative gifts. Only when you are firm in playwriting, should you venture into other mediums.

Q: Plugs, please:

A: My website: www.shirleylauro.com,

Facebook wall Shirley Lauro 

Breaking Character:  http://www.samuelfrench.com/breakingcharacter/

The Actors Studio (reading of new work, 4/15/15.


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Friday, March 20, 2015

I Interview Playwrights Part 729: Antony Raymond



Antony Raymond

Hometown: New York, NY

Current Town: New York, NY

Q:  Tell me about Pretty Babies.

A:  PRETTY BABIES is a play that deals with toxic relationships. I enjoy writing about relationships in general and what attracts us to the ones we choose. This play is all about choosing the wrong ones, I guess.

Q:  What else are you working on now?

A:  I'm working on a satire a some of the Shakespeare romances wrapped into one. Its called NOTHING TO DO ABOUT EVERYTHING OR WHATEVER. Its written all in verse. Iambic pentameter. Its going to be wild. Lots of love triangles. That sort of thing.

Q:  Tell me, if you will, a story from your childhood that explains who you are as a writer or as a person.

A:   I will say this: I remember really wanting people to like me. I remember Robin Williams saying that once. How he developed as an artist. That it came from a profound place of insecurity in a lot of ways. But, the good news is that the insecurity goes away eventually (with some work) and you're left with some tools you can really play with.

Q:  If you could change one thing about theater, what would it be?

A:  Less TV stars with no training and no business doing it and more raw talent, more unknowns, unheard-ofs. Casting directors who actually work to get it right instead of playing it safe. Casting directors with guts and innovative ideas.

Q:  Who are or were your theatrical heroes?

A:  Ivo Van Hove, Austin Pendleton, Reed Birney. The actors in my theater company.

Q:  What kind of theater excites you?

A:  Gutsy theater that raises questions and pushes boundaries. And I love a good dance number too.

Q:  What advice do you have for playwrights just starting out?

A:   Just keep writing. Don't worry about the finished product. You'll get there before you know it. As long as you commit to the doing of it.

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Thursday, March 19, 2015

NOW PUBLISHED



Playscripts just published my collection of short plays

7 Ways to Say I Love You

"This collection of funny, sweet, silly, poignant and stylistically diverse short plays from New York favorite Adam Szymkowicz has something for everyone. From the awkwardness of asking out a pizza store clerk (Ambience Pizza), to a campy infidelity revenge comedy (Film Noir), to the couple destined to be together no matter the obstacles (John and April), this collection explores heart, grief, pain, and humor as the plays dance around the eternal human theme of love."

To read samples of the plays, follow the links below.  Or just, you know, buy a copy.




https://www.playscripts.com/play/2734

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I Interview Playwrights Part 728: Ed Falco


Ed Falco

Hometown: Brooklyn, NY

Current Town: Blacksburg, VA

Q: Tell me about Possum Dreams.

A:  Possum Dreams is a seriously funny play about a married couple caught in the unraveling illusions that have held them together for eighteen years. The play opens with Walter coming home from teaching, distressed because a transsexual student has been flirting with him. It's a revelation that leads to an intense yet often hysterical battle that reveals the chaos under the surface of the carefully ordered lives of Walter and his wife Jan.

I live Blacksburg, Virginia, where I teach in the MFA program at Virginia Tech; and I’ve written a number of plays that have been read and produced locally. For the most part, I’ve satisfied myself with being part of our local theater community, and I haven’t tried very hard to find productions for my plays elsewhere—except for Possum Dream, which I’ve always felt was a very funny play that could successfully reach a wider audience. It’s taken a long time and a lot of work, but finally, with the intervention of Emily Rubin (a former student of mine who is now working as an agent and manager) Possum Dreams is finally reaching a larger audience, first through a production in Akron, Ohio by None Too Fragile; and later in a short New York run at Theatre 54 in New York.

Q:  What else are you working on now?

A:  I’m some 50,000 words into a new novel; I’m gathering actors locally for a staged reading of a recent play, with hopes of a local production next year; and I’m about to start a rewrite of The Miscreant, my most recent play.

Q:  Tell me, if you will, a story from your childhood that explains who you are as a writer or as a person.

A:  I have a twin sister, and the story goes that when my mother told my father that the doctor said she was carrying twins, he shouted: “Did you tell him we already had three children!” That’s an amusing little bit of family lore from my embryonic days, but it says a lot about how I turned out. My father was a house painter who had to struggle those days to support his wife and three children; then, unplanned, he found he had two more on the way. The youngest of five children, there was always a lot of pressure on me to be silent and stay out of the way. Writing and storytelling is the way I eventually found I could be heard.

Q:  If you could change one thing about theater, what would it be?

A:  I would change the culture in the theater community that says it’s permissible to simply ignore plays that have been submitted to your theater or your company. I understand that it’s sometimes impossible to read the hundreds of plays submitted to a successful theater company—but it shouldn’t be okay to simply ignore submissions. Compose a form rejection for the plays you’ve actually read and don’t want to produce, and get it back to the author. Compose a form apology for the plays you can’t read because you’re overwhelmed with submissions: “Staff constraints have made it impossible for us to read all the plays submitted to our theater and thus we are returning this play to you unread, with our sincere apologies.” Send the author something, anything—but don’t do what so many theaters do and simply ignore the submission before eventually tossing the play. It feels deeply disrespectful to playwrights.

Q:  Who are or were your theatrical heroes?

A:  Mamet, Pinter, and Shepard are the playwrights I read early and had the most influence over my writing, but my real heroes are all the small theater companies everywhere that persevere in producing and promoting plays while living in a world less and less interested in all serious art, including theater.

Q:  What kind of theater excites you?

A:  Any theater that is rooted in good writing and good acting. If you throw in good production values, I’m thrilled—but they’re not as essential as good writing and good acting. Give me a good play and good actors, and I’ll come to your living room to see the show and be excited to be there.

Q:  What advice do you have for playwrights just starting out?

A:  Move to a city with a vibrant theater community; participate in the community any way you can—become part of the community; see as many plays as you can; read as many plays as you can; then write and keep writing, every day if at all possible. Talent is important, but perseverance and a commitment to writing are the truly essential elements of a successful life as a writer.

Q:  Plugs, please:

A:  Possum Dreams is showing at Shetler Studios Theatre 54, 244 W 54th Street #12, from March 18 – March 28. Buy tickets here: http://bit.ly/1FwQMT0 Or pay what you can at the door.

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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

I Interview Playwrights Part 727: Lia Romeo


Lia Romeo

Hometown: Boulder, CO

Current Town: Hoboken, NJ

Q:  What are you working on now?

A:  I’m currently writing a play in a month for The Brooklyn Generator. The Generator selects six playwrights every season, and each playwright is assigned to one month, during which they have to complete a draft of a full-length play. My play is called The Grand Tour, and it’s about travel and family dynamics and interracial adoption and a marriage that’s falling apart. It’s actually turning out to be a lot easier than I expected to write on such a tight deadline, because I’m able to just focus and completely immerse myself in it.

The other great thing about the Generator is that they start off each playwright’s month with a “generation meeting,” where the playwright meets with their cast and director and the other playwrights involved that season, and can ask everyone questions or lead a discussion about the themes of the play they’re planning to write. I want to get friends together and do this every time I write a play – I got some amazing stories and insights from the people at my meeting, and they’re finding their way into the script.

Q:  Tell me about Project Y.

A:  Project Y is a wonderful company here in NYC that’s dedicated to New York and world premieres of new works. I’ve worked with Project Y as a playwright quite a bit – they produced one of my plays at 59E59 a couple of years ago, and have also done readings and workshops of others – and last year I started working as the literary manager. We do a reading series with a specific theme each year (this year’s is Parity Plays – focusing on women playwrights, and plays with casts that are more than 50% female), and also do workshops, new play festivals, and full productions. We also founded the Project Y Playwrights Group in 2014 – it’s a selective playwrights’ workshop that meets every two weeks to read and discuss members’ work. It’s a really smart and talented group of writers, and it’s been so much fun to work with them.

Q:  Tell me, if you will, a story from your childhood that explains who you are as a writer or as a person.

A:  I was a strange child. When I was about four, I remember sitting under my parents’ kitchen table and suddenly realizing that I was going to die someday – and getting really upset about it. I was pretty terrified of mortality throughout my childhood, and I developed a focus on death that showed up in my writing – I wrote a lot of poems about dead flowers, and spent a lot of time wandering around in the cemetery near my parents’ house. Apparently my grandfather got worried about me at one point, and asked my mom if she thought I was depressed, and my mom was like no, she’s actually really happy, she just thinks about death a lot. That’s still a pretty good description of who I am as an adult and as a writer.

Q:  If you could change one thing about theater, what would it be?

A:  I wish it were easier or there were a more obvious way to make a living in it. When I was getting out of college, and my friends were going off to work at law firms or PR firms or investment banking firms, I found myself desperately wishing that there were “playwriting firms” where you could just apply and get hired and paid a living wage to write a few plays every year, and then the firms would send your plays out to theaters. There are so many different career paths as a playwright, and in a way that’s great, but it’s also a very difficult thing – especially since most of them don’t actually pay any money.

Q:  Who are or were your theatrical heroes?

A:  People who are just out there doing it – and doing it really well – despite how hard and frustrating and thankless it can sometimes be. People who recognize that it’s still pretty much the best thing ever.

Q:  What kind of theater excites you?

A:  Plays about the ways that people actually think and feel and talk. So much theater feels like it isn’t about real people, it’s about “stage people,” stylized versions of people that don’t bear a lot of resemblance to reality. It’s not that I only like realistic plays – many of my favorite plays aren’t – but I like plays about real – even if not necessarily realistic – people.

Q:  What advice do you have for playwrights just starting out?

A:  Get out there and get involved with the theatrical community. I spent a lot of years not doing that – just sitting at home writing plays and sending them off to theaters, but not going out and meeting people and getting to know theater companies – and I think I wasted a lot of time. So much of theater is about networking and meeting people – which can be hard for introverted writer types, but it’s really important. I think it's really helpful for writers to read scripts or do literary management work – I actually just wrote a piece for HowlRound about this – and that can be a great way to get involved with a theater company.

Also, find a good day job. You’re going to be making a living from something other than writing for a long time, maybe forever, and it’s a lot easier to be patient and stick with it if the thing that pays you money is something you don’t mind doing.

Q:  Plugs, please:

A:  The Brooklyn Generator reading of my play The Grand Tour is Sunday, March 29 at 4:30 pm at Brother Jimmy’s Union Square. I’ve also got a few productions coming up next season… not all of them are public yet, but here’s one that is: Forward Flux Productions will be producing my play Green Whales in Seattle September 16-October 3, in repertory with Still Life, a wonderful play by Barbara Blumenthal-Ehrlich.

Also, Project Y is kicking off the Parity Plays reading series in April with plays by Hilary Bettis (The Ghosts of Lote Bravo) and Allyson Currin (The Sooner Child).


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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

UPCOMING!!!! !


UPCOMING EVENT:

Book Signing at Drama Book Shop in New York!

March 27

Scenes from plays by Crystal Skillman, Qui Nguyen and me.  You should come.



More information here


UPCOMING PRODUCTIONS of My Plays--

Clown Bar

Production #5 of Clown Bar
Indiana Players
Indiana, PA
Opens March 20, 2015


Hearts Like Fists




Production #13 of Hearts Like Fists
Outcry Theatre
Dallas, TX
Opens March 19, 2015




Production #14
Know Theatre of Cincinnati
Cincinnati, OH
Opens March 27, 2015

Production #15
Stephens College
Columbia, MO
Opens April 9, 2015

Production #16
Clark University
Worcester, MA
Opens April 15, 2015


Production #9 
Western Illinois University
Macomb, IL
Opens May 10, 2015

Production #10
James Madison University
Harrisonburg, VA
Opens April 26, 2016

Adventures Of Super Margaret

Production #1
Oddfellows Playhouse
Middletown, CT
Opens May 28, 2015.

Nerve

Production #17 of Nerve
DePaul University
Chicago, IL
Opens June 5, 2015

New Play (TBD) 
Workshop production
Chance Theater
Anaheim, CA
August 19, 22, 23

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I Interview Playwrights Part 726: Barry Rowell



Hometown: Fort Worth, TX

Current Town: New York, NY

Q:  Tell me about Floydada.

A:  Floydada is something I wrote for Catherine Porter and Nomi Tichman, two of my favorite actors. It’s about two sisters in 1926 Texas: one of them left home a couple of decades before and has traveled the world while the other stayed home and took care of their parents and managed the family’s dry goods business. Out in the world, Dalia (Nomi) has lived in big cities and encountered the Dada art movement. A terminal illness has forced her to return home so that she can be cared for by Ada (Catherine). But she doesn’t want to just sit around and wait to die so she convinces Ada to start a Dada cabaret in their store.

Q:  What else are you working on right now?

A:  Actively, I’m planning a site-specific play about bar life to be performed in bars; we’ll start workshopping that again in the late spring and summer, I hope. I’ve also got a few projects that we (Peculiar Works) have already produced that I want to go back and develop further: Manna-Hata from 2013,; a play about the militant separatists movement in the U.S. that we presented in 1996; and a multi-artist event adapted from the novel, Don Quixote—we’d really like to do that one in Spain next year. There are others that are just ideas but those are the most concrete…

Q:  Tell me, if you will, a story from your childhood that explains who you are as a writer or as a person.

A:  My dad likes to remind me of the time that I came home and told my parents that I gotten a job mopping the floors at a local diner on Saturday afternoons. I was in middle school so probably about 12 or so. At the time, he couldn’t imagine what had possessed me to go and ask about the job but it wasn’t really all that surprising: my dad had often talked about having to work when he was a kid—growing up in West Texas in the ‘40s, he had to pick cotton—and I figured that I was supposed to find some work, too. I don’t remember how long I had the job—a few months, maybe—before the café closed (or maybe I got bored and quit before that… I really don’t remember). But I think that sort of impulsiveness continues to be one part of who I am. Not always, of course, but often: when I moved to New York, when I started writing plays, several of the projects we’ve done over the years.

Q:  If you could change one thing about theater, what would it be?

A:  Movies adapted into musicals would be abolished and the composers would not be allowed to write those McMusical Ballads. The stifling of imagination is my biggest complaint about commercial theater—especially since I know so many incredible writers, directors, composers, actors and designers working for no money with no money and accomplishing extraordinary things.

Q:  Who are or were your theatrical heroes?

A:  There are hundreds. As a writer, I probably hear Harold Pinter in my head more than anyone else—I wish I had his way with silence. But I’m also a big fan of more poetic, image-filled writing. Catherine and I did a workshop with The Drama League in Bulgaria last summer and Gabriel Shanks recommended we bring the Bulgarian directors work by 20th century American writers whose work is in that vein, and they’re some of my favorite authors: Gertrude Stein, Richard Foreman, Charles L. Mee, Mac Wellman and Ruth Margraff. If I had the ability, I would be writing like that… but that’s just not how I hear language. I also love directors like Elizabeth LeCompte and Emma Rice, and companies like Kneehigh Theatre (probably my all-time favorite) and Rude Mechanicals in Austin. If there is reincarnation, I want to be a choreographer in the next life: I love David Parker/The Bang Group, Yanira Castro and Monica Bill Barnes (and lots and lots of others).

Q:  What kind of theater excites you?

A:  Imaginative—show me something I haven’t seen a hundred times before. I don’t mean plots: I mean creativity. The best productions I’ve seen in recent years were full of surprises. Rude Mechs’ Method Gun—blew me away; Kneehigh’s The Bacchae (and almost every show of theirs I’ve seen since 2004); Rainpan 43’s machines machines machines machines and Elephant Room; Forced Entertainment’s Club of No Regrets (which Catherine and I saw on our honeymoon in 1993 and I can still see vividly); and dozens of others. And loads of people here in NYC. I think there’s so much great work going on today and I’m excited to see what’s still to come.

Q:  What advice do you have for playwrights just starting out?

A:  Write. I should definitely write more. Rewrite: I do that better than I write, I sometimes think. Go see work: I heard Richard Foreman say that he doesn’t go see theater and I think that’s too bad—I get great ideas from other people (and I even remember most of them). Meet other artists: it’s a collaborative medium and the more people you know, the better.

Q:  Plugs, please.

A: Floydada: March 26 – April 11 at 7pm. A found space at 40 Worth Street at West Broadway. We’ve got a great space for the production and my collaborators on the project are all amazing—the play is going to look and sound better than I could ever have hoped. When I’ve sat in production meetings with director David Vining and the rest of the team and hear them talk about the play, I’m so thrilled: the entire team all talk about my play the way every playwright HOPES they will—they get it and they understand what to highlight and how and, more importantly, why. Tickets at peculiarworks.org and the previews are only $10!


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Monday, March 16, 2015

725 Playwright Interviews


A
Sean Abley
Rob Ackerman
Liz Duffy Adams
Johnna Adams
Tony Adams
David Adjmi
Keith Josef Adkins
Nastaran Ahmadi
Derek Ahonen
Kathleen Akerley
Ayad Akhtar
Rob Askins
Chiara Atik
Forrest Attaway
David Auburn
Hannah Bos
Leslie Bramm
Benjamin Brand
Jami Brandli
Jennifer Fawcett
Joshua Fardon
Caitlin Saylor Stephens
Ariel Stess
Vanessa Claire Stewart
Kate Tarker
Jona Tarlin
Judy Tate
Roland Tec
Cori Thomas

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