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1000 Playwright Interviews The first interview I posted was on June 3, 2009.  It was Jimmy Comtois.  I decided I would start interview...

Mar 4, 2015

I Interview Playwrights Part 722: Max Baker

Max Baker

Hometown: London

Current Town: New York City

Q:  Tell me about Live From the Surface of the Moon:

A:  It's set in 1969 - the first act is the night of the moon landing, the second act is the last day of the decade.

Single set, six characters. Verbal abuse, group dynamics, electric can openers.Think Bill Cosby meets Revolutionary Road.

Q:  Tell me about your band, Eelwax Jesus:

A:  Excellent question! eelwax jesus have written some of the best songs you've never heard.  I implore you to go to YouTube, type in YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR (eelwax jesus) -
and experience the very tip of the eelwax iceberg.

Q:  What else are you working on right now?

A:  Oh gosh. I'm trying to crank-start a new play by diving into Conspiracy Theories -
They're such a great resource for writing: how to construct plausible, structured narratives from
random pieces of fact. It doesn't matter whether those narratives come from the paranoid, the lonely, the curious or the Government, there seems to be a strange trait in humans to seek out something we call The Truth - which really just means agreement. I find this interesting because if everyone really did agree on The Truth it might be great for us as a species, but it'd be pretty fucking dull for us individually. Okay, maybe I went on a little bit of a tangent. I'm working on a new play!

Q:  Tell me, if you will, a story from your childhood that explains who you are as a writer or as a person.

A:  One of my earliest memories (I must have been 4): my older brother had some kind of toy robot
with interchangeable hand devices which I thought was very sophisticated, and I am pretty sure I was told I wasn't allowed to play with it. For some reason I found myself alone in the front room with this robot and something compelled me to pick up one of the interchangeable pieces, a magnet, and put it in my mouth. I suppose that's what 4 year old's do - put things in their mouths. I heard my mother in the other room call my name, and promptly swallowed the magnet. Literally to this day, I can still conjure up the sensation of this lump of metal and plastic going down my throat. Later my brother was looking for the robot magnet-hand and obviously couldn't find it. I kept quiet. Not sure if that explains anything about me as a writer or a person, except I clearly discovered guilt and fear and how to lie about it all at the same time at an early age. I've had images of myself walking around life with spoons stuck to my stomach ever since.

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

A:  The spelling. I like theatre spelled the British way.

Q:  Who are or were your theatrical heroes?

A:  This question makes my brain hurt.

Q:  What kind of theater excites you?

A:  The kind where people take off their clothes.

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

A:  Stop watching TV.

Q:  Plugs for your upcoming project(s):

A:  Come see LIVE FROM THE SURFACE OF THE MOON at The Wild Project.
That way if you think I sound like a wanker in this interview, you'll have the chance to criticize my work.

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