Wednesday, October 02, 2013

I Interview Playwrights Part 607: Paul Cameron Hardy


Paul Cameron Hardy

Hometown: I spent my formative years in Wenatchee, Washington.

Current Town: Brooklyn

Q:  Tell me about feeling.

A: I wrote this play, feeling., about a woman who has her life upended by her live-in boyfriend of nine years' sudden departure from the relationship. In her shock and grief, she begins to hallucinate a friendship with long-deceased serial killer, Jeffrey Dahmer.

Q:  Tell me about Glass Bandits.

A: Glass Bandits are a group of kids who got a theater company together with the express purpose of making work that breaks from the stereotype of a fussy, outmoded form of entertainment. They want to make work that is engaging and accessible to a broad, non-traditional audience, while still making work that experienced theater-goers will find engrossing. They have been kind enough to let me work with them a couple of times, so far.

Q:  What else are you working on now?

A: I've got this weird little play about solipsism that I am trying to get people interested in, and I am also working on a play about pornography.

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 five years old, my big sister walked into our garage and was shocked to see me practicing flipping people off. I would stand, casual, unassuming, then turn a rapid 180, feet barely off the ground, landing with the pop of both my feet on concrete and of my middle finger(s) from their fist(s) - a quick draw artist of sorts. I'm not sure that it is a direct metaphor, but I am probably still not much more than a little dipshit trying to be tough/cool in the garage, not as alone as he imagines.

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

A: It would be nice if it were easier to make some sort of living doing it. The continued goal of dehomogenization of both audience and 'theater makers' (w/r/t age, race, gender, et al.) is great, and should continue, and hopefully become more rapid.

Q:  Who are or were your theatrical heroes?

A: Suzan-Lori Parks, Young Jean Lee, Caryl Churchill, Wallace Shawn, Richard Maxwell, loads and loads more....

Q:  What kind of theater excites you?

A: I like theater that doesn't feel the need to tell me just what it is or how to feel about it.

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

A: It is silly and kind of stupid and, by my mind, you should probably spend a fair amount of time feeling like it is frivolous and you are shirking some tangibly helpful-to-humanity vocation, not to mention the wild amount of rejection you will face, so: make sure you surround yourself with people who you love and trust, and who make you excited to allow the kind of vulnerability needed to make the kind of work that will affect whatever audience you can get. Find good people and keep them close.

Q:  Plugs, please:

A:  Look out for anything by Clare Barron, Brendan Hill, Gail Bennington, Rady & Bloom, St. Fortune Collective, Eliza Bent, Sara Farrington, Frank Boudreaux, Alex Borinsky, The Internationalists. Go watch Zoe Winters and Lauren Blumenfeld in everything they are in. Always support Clubbed Thumb, and let's all start some sort of campaign to get Heidi Schreck's Constitution play up and at a big theater so everyone can go and get their minds blown.

Also come see my play feeling. that opens October 7 at The New Ohio! www.gbtheater.com

 

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