Thursday, May 28, 2015

I Interview Playwrights Part 743: J.B. Heaps

J.B. Heaps

Hometown:  New York

Q:  Tell me about The Immortal Coil.

A:  A reclusive writer, once the reluctant spokesman for a generation, returns to the theater with his first new work in over two decades. Reading his highly anticipated opus is an ambitious young actor and a fervent admirer. But slowly, their collaboration deteriorates, ending with what may – or, may not be - fatal consequences.

Q:  What else are you working on now?

A:  A play based on a comedian similar to Andy Kaufman that will hopefully examine how humor can be used as a truth-wielding weapon.

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

A:  Less emphasis on Broadway with its too-often rehashed material, emphasis on star power, and the overly expensive – and I might add, uncomfortable – seats.

Q:  What kind of theater excites you?

A:  While sometimes I think a good TV show or a good movie may be better than a good play, nothing is better than a great play. To witness flesh and blood characters evolve in front of a live audience is, for me, the zenith of storytelling.

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

A:  Much of writing, or effective writing, doesn’t take place at the computer. Instead, ideas for premises, plot twists and the ever elusive good ending percolate at odd unexpected moments: in showers, on the E train and when staring vacantly at a wall of wandering cracks.

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