Friday, August 08, 2014

I Interview Playwrights Part 682: Alex Trow

Alex Trow

Hometown: Highlands Ranch, CO

Current Town: New York, NY

Q:  Tell me about your upcoming show

A: It’s called Flamingo, and it’s about love and lust, and how you can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get… to a place where you make a choice and oof that’s hard. It’s my first full-length play, and I’m getting to act in it, so I feel prrrrrretty nervous and excited and lucky.

A:  What else are you working on now?

A:  As a writer, a few other plays with bird titles, a screenplay maybe, an immersive theatrical experience, and, someday, the blank Word document I’ve saved as “What the F Happened to Enthusiasm?(!), and What You Can Do About It!!” As an actor, this play, Flamingo.

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 16, I ran over a rabbit, and unfortunately it was badly injured but not dead, and my friend Eric got out of the car and went back and mercy killed it with a rock. I went home and cried-n-wrote an ode from the rabbit’s point of view as she died, i.e. the last things she saw and really noticed that warm summer night with all the stars up above. So: maybe I’m both a little hyper-sensitive about and willing to linger inside your everyday mercy killing?

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

A:  Off the top of my head, I would make it part of every kid’s elementary school education. Like gym class. Gym class for emotional intelligence.

Q:  Who are or were your theatrical heroes?

A:  So many playwrights and actors and weirdos, but also my parents, because they were both scientists/”left-brain people” as professionals, but took my brother and me to theater from age 5 on, and go themselves all the time. They recently took an acting class at a community college to “understand” what my brother (also an actor!) and I “go through” – I saw the video of their final exam, which was a monolog presentation, and turns out they are great actors! Like not embarrassing at all, just great.

Q:  What kind of theater excites you?

A: I think the most exciting theater is the kind where people – and even things - are really listening to each other and responding to what they hear. That is purposefully vague because my excitement horizons are actively expanding.

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

A:  Stolen science advice! Spend time, just lots of time, writing anything. I think I really believe in the Ten-Thousand Hours rule (a thing convincingly described in Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers) whereby one becomes an expert in his/her field after 10,000 hours of dedicated practice. The hard thing is that in my experience, the first many many many hours of doing anything can produce pretty bad stuff… but you have to keep going, it always gets better! Because time. I thought about it, and I probably have 600 hours or so…. Only 9400 left to go.

Q:  Plugs, please:

A:  Please come see Sanguine Theatre’s Co.’s production of Flamingo at the IRT Theater (154 Christopher Street). Writ by me; acted in by Dylan Lamb, Ian Antal, and me; directed by Jillian Robertson; produced by Sanguine Theatre Company - September 3-14, 2014. Tickets here! (And in 9000 hours when I write lots of other stuff, I’ll notify everyone via

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