Hometown: Monticello, FL/Thomasville, GA
Current Town: New York
Q: Tell me about Too Little Too Late coming up at Here.
A: It will be so much FUN! The other plays are funny and sweet and dazzling. I am so thrilled to be working with the other playwrights, and I've wanted to work with Portia Krieger for so long. So I'm greatful and very happy about all of it.
Q: What else are you working on?
A: Benh Zeitlin and I adapted my play, "Juicy and Delicious", into a Southern Apocolyptic kid's comedy movie. We're up for this really amazing grant/award through Sundance called NHK that gives your movie Japanese distribution rights and some money. So we're headed to Sundance in a few days for that and pre-production meetings.
And I'm starting a new play about kids in a little school in south Georgia in the 1970's on the eve of Jimmy Carter's space program.
Q: Tell me, if you will, something about your childhood that explains who you are as a writer or as a person.
A: My dad and my brother are amazing bluegrass banjo players, and that kind of music had a big effect on my own work. What I love about bluegrass is you have to do it with total sincerity. There's no irony or trying to pretend like you don't care. And the subject matter is so great and all over the place. There are songs that are just about how you're happy to be walking around outside, and songs about food, and songs about how you've killed somebody, even though you really loved them, but they just couldn't act right. They're so heartfelt that they're beautiful, no matter what they're about.
Q: What kind of theater excites you?
A: I love anything that goes balls to the wall. I bet there's a classier way of saying that--"fully realized"? I think "balls-to-the-wall" is closer, though.
So, Wooster Group, Justin Bond, Dolly Parton, Radiohole, ERS...Charles Mee, I love him. Sibyl Kempson is a total genius. I could keep going!
Q: What advice do you have for playwrights just starting out?
A: As theatre-makers, we all need for each other's work to succeed. It proves that theatre is alive and multifaceted and engaging. So be supportive!