Thursday, January 01, 2015

I Interview Playwrights Part 714: John Yearley

John Yearley

Hometown: Stanford, CA

Current Town: Metuchen, NJ

Q:  What are you working on now?

A:  First priority is an adaptation of Antigone for young audiences commissioned by Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. Also writing new material for a one-person show of my work that debuted last month, Confessions from the Plank, starring PJ Sosko and directed by Jessi Hill. Also developing a web series, working on a book of essays about being a dad, and trying to start a new play.

Oh, and I just finished a gargantuan re-write of my most recent full-length, Eight Minutes, Twenty Seconds. So that needs to get launched into the world.

Q:  If you could change one thing about theater, what would it be?
A:  Honestly, I just wish it was cheaper. I feel like so much of what ails theater is because it is so expensive nobody goes. Or when they do go they don't want to try new things. It starts a terrible cycle that hurts everybody

Q:  Who are or were your theatrical heroes?
A:  Chekov, Tennessee Williams, Tony Kushner. Oh, and Phillip Seymour Hoffman - I'm still grieving his death. It's like a close friend died.

Q:  What kind of theater excites you?

A:  Anything that surprises me. I've read and/or seen a million plays. I can see where most are going in about five minutes. I am totally delighted when I turn out to be wrong.

Q:  What advice do you have for playwrights just starting out?
A:  Hold tight to the actors who understand you. The ones who understand what's funny and what isn't without explanation will be invaluable to you in so many ways.

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