Jan 25, 2013
I Interview Playwrights Part 548: Matt Pelfrey
Hometown: Los Osos, California.
Current Town: Pasadena, California.
Q: Tell me about The Pilo Family Circus now playing at the New Ohio. How did you come to adapt it and what was the process like?
A: I read the Pilo Family Circus novel and immediately thought of Joe and Godlight. The novel was such an imaginative blast and everything I like in stories: scary, funny, and full of unexpected twists and turns. While the novel has some big moments that had to be re-imagined to work as a play, we've kept the heart and soul of the book intact.
Q: What else are you working on?
A: Next up with Joe and Godlight is an adaption of DELIVERANCE.
Q: Tell me, if you will, a story from your childhood that explains who you are as a writer or as a person.
A: When I was young, I was at my grandmother's house which was on a big plot of land. My dad wanted me to go up the hill to the front gate and get the newspaper. I told him I didn't want to because I was afraid of snakes. He yelled at me and made me go anyway. At the top of the hill, coiled up, was a rattle snake. I ran back down the hill screaming about what I'd just seen. Nobody believed me. I finally made a big enough deal that my dad, pissed, stormed up the hill. Thank god the rattle snake was still there. Weird shit happens.
Q: If you could change one thing about theater, what would it be?
A: More funding for small theaters that do visceral work.
Q: Who are or were your theatrical heroes?
A: Besides Jose Rivera? Eric Bogosian.
Q: What kind of theater excites you?
A: The kind that makes me think: "there's no way they'll go there." Then they do.
Q: What advice do you have for playwrights just starting out?
A: Write five rough pages every day, and read as much as you can. The rest will work itself out one way or the other.
Books by Adam