I've been thinking about this a lot lately. As a
playwright, I am writing from a certain point of view
which is MY point of view. It comes from where I grew
up and how I grew up and the people I know and how I
see all those factors. I was raised Catholic. My
father's family was Polish Catholic. My mother's
family was all sorts of English, Dutch, Scottish but
basically the culture she came from was a Protestant
American culture, though she herself was not praticing
Both my parent were teachers who taught in public
schools, my mother high school math and my father 5th
and 7th grade--specializing in science. My father
also started a series of businesses while teaching
full time. He built picnic tables then he opened a
video store in the mid eighties, then he started
buying houses. Basically he's a workaholic. Both my
parents are now retired but he is still buying houses
and working on them and then trying to resell them.
And so through lots of hard work and smart investment
he is doing quite well financially right now, or at
least much better than a teacher is expected to be
So basically my point is that I grew up in a house
that was a hard working house and also not exactly
working class and not exactly not working class.
(I've spent many hours roofing). I went to a public
school and a public university. I grew up in a small
town in Connecticut, which is something that is hard
to explain unless you too grew up in a small town in
Connecticut. And I think a lot of my small town view
of the world remains as well as the idea that I have
to have a day job (not to mention the grad school debt
that I'm currently saddled with, which makes my day
Based on the way my parents worked and worked, I am
likewise working a day job and doing my best to write
plays as my other job. It's what I'm expecting myself
to do and it's also incredibly tiring. And while I
know that I do tend to write more when I have a full
time job, I also have a lot less time to write.
I know I would be more focused on my playwriting if I
didn't have a 9-5 job. And I know that it would have
been helpful if I had gone to undergrad at Princeton
or Yale or somewhere that had had a theatre major--
course when I was applying to school I didn't know I
wanted to be a playwright. But if I had gone to an
Ivy league school I think I would have a clearer
picture of the wealthy people that make up New York
audiences. Six Degrees of Seperation is a fantastic
play but it's not a play I am equipped to write
because I am not of that world.
And so sometimes I wonder if the wealthy theatregoers
are interested in what I have to say. Is my point of
view something that would interest them? I am not
Jewish. I'm not writing about people living on the
Upper West side. I have a certain unique point of
view and some of that has to do with growing up where
and when and how I did.
Considering the price of theatre tickets, the off
broadway and broadway audiences are and have to be
wealthy these days.
At the same time, I want my plays to be produced in
small theatres throughout the country. I want my
plays to mean something to the actors in Michigan who
are holding down day jobs and then come to rehearse at
And I want to find a way to make a living writing.
Because I'm so very tired. Especially on a Monday.