Current Town: Brooklyn, NY.
Q: Tell me about your play you're having read at Terranova.
A: It’s called “Boomer’s Millennial Hero Story.” It will have its reading at The Cherry Lane on June 16th at 3PM as part of TerraNOVA's Groundworks series. Jenna Worsham is directing.
Here’s a blurb! --
A down-home, piano-playing American Storyteller of the Boomer Generation guides us through the "heroic" first twenty-five years of “Millennial” Montgomery Walter’s life. From a childhood full of trophies and medical over-diagnosis and self-esteem building, to 9/11 to the market crash to Occupy Wall Street, this raucous vaudevillian journey takes a dark absurdist look at class, generational cause-and-affect, and American folklore in a world where ideas never truly die.
Q: What else are you working on now?
A: I am currently beginning the process of collaborating with a composer on a folk-blues album/score that will accompany my play, “Under The Water Tower.” Next month I’ll be going to North Carolina to hang out with my old AAU basketball team as research for a new play I’ve been working on about kids from varying socio-economic backgrounds who share a hotel room at a tournament while vying for division-1 college basketball scholarships, with the slimy backdrop of the NCAA recruiting world. I am developing those with The Middle Voice – Rattlestick’s apprentice company – who RULE.
Q: Tell me, if you will, a story from your childhood that explains who you are as a writer or as a person.
A: My family was always moving, usually at the end of a semester or school year. I spent a lot of Christmas and/or Summer breaks in a new place, daydreaming about what my new school would be like, the kinds of friends I would make, and especially the kinds of girls there’d be. And I’d spend time missing all the people I had just left behind, wondering what they were doing. I didn’t discover my love for writing until I was about 19 or 20, but by then I’d had years of practice conjuring characters and places and events and seeing how close the reality was to my imagination… as well as filling in my own blanks of what the people I left behind had become by now. And then Facebook ruined all that, but luckily I had fallen in love with writing by then. I still find myself dreaming of the new and aching for the old, in my work and in my life.
Q: If you could change one thing about theater, what would it be?
A: Tickets cost too much and nobody gets paid enough and I wish more people saw plays who weren’t in the theater. That’s a three-for-one!
Q: What kind of theater excites you?
A: The not boring kind. That’s cheeky but I mean it! I like plays that must be plays, made specifically for the stage. Plays that ask big questions and challenge an audience to think, but don’t push an agenda. I like characters who are trying hard to be good people. Anything that makes me glad I went to the theater instead of laying in bed watching Netflix. I love poetry and the inherently American. Gross, funny, vulgar, ballsy, weird, sexy, dangerous…
Q: What advice do you have for playwrights just starting out?
A: I should really be asking this question, and not answering it. From what I hear, and what I tell myself -- keep submitting work, don’t compare or compete with other writer’s journeys, find a way to make your own theater, and most of all, surround yourself with amazing people – people who are smart and kind and talented and who genuinely like your work and you likes theirs too. Patience. And, much like the rest of life, never become an asshole because things are going great or because things are going not so great. Work your ass off and don’t take advantage of your gift. We’re lucky to have found this.
Q: Plugs, please:
A: Check out TerraNova’s “Groundworks” Series. TerraNova is an AWESOME place. The people there are tops. And if you don’t know these writers, get to know them and see their work. They’re great and I couldn’t be prouder to have been a part of it.
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