Why Do I Write Plays?

  • Because I love what plays at their best can do.
  • Because human beings are endlessly complicated, perverse, fascinating, and funny.
  • Because I seem to have a talent for it.

I've taken playwriting workshops with Sam Shepard and Maria Irene Fornes, and I like to think that I've also learned from every playwright whose script I've read or whose play I've seen in production.

There's nothing as patient as a blank sheet of paper, or a computer screen, with the words ACT ONE typed at the top. But somehow, plays get written, rewritten, rewritten again (and again), sent out looking for a theatre to find a home in, and produced. That's the goal: to be staged, and, ideally, staged in more than one production. I've written several plays, some produced, some not (yet), and I think I've learned a few things about how plays are put together, how they work, how to make sure that the play's "inner clock" never stops, that the play's energy sustains itself until the show's over.

Plays are such focused and concentrated visions of life! I love wrestling with the form from draft to draft, adding and subtracting incidents, characters, layers of meaning and experience, and even titles as the need arises. The best part, for me, is when audiences respond to the same things that I responded to when I was writing the play.

I’m doing what most playwrights do: Learning how, play by play.


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