Thursday, September 17, 2015

I Interview Playwrights Part 787: Dylan Lamb


Dylan Lamb

Hometown:  Minneapolis, Minnesota

Current Town: Brooklyn, New York

Q:  Tell me about Ten Ways On A Gun.

A:  Tommy Freely buys a gun online to gain control of his life, then timeshares it with his deadbeat co-workers once his vegetarian girlfriend finds out about it.

This is a play about a play about that gun. It’s a darkly comedic and heartfelt examination of American gun culture, and an exploration of why anyone, anywhere, does what they do.

Q:  What else are you working on now?

A:  I’m writing a play about the phenomenon of checking out people’s butts, and also about finding God, and how maybe those two things are connected? So I guess I’m working on becoming a pervy Joan Osborne.

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

A:  I won two goldfish at the Wisconsin Dells doing some ping-pong toss-type carny game that you’re not supposed to ever actually win. I named them Jellybean and Marshmallow. I think I was five at the time. As we headed home to Minneapolis, we filled a couple plastic bags with water to transport Jellybean and Marshmallow. We placed the bags at my mother’s feet. Periodically throughout the trip she would hold the bags up for me to check on them. As we pulled into our driveway, the bags rolled up underneath the glove compartment and burst all over the family camera. My parents tried to save the camera, which was the right move, but it just left me there screaming and trying to catch two flopping goldfish and spit on them enough so they could live. Jellybean and Marshmallow died to save the photographs of my family’s trip to the Wisconsin Dells. Not one picture, however, was of them. My parents were remorseful as we flushed them, but neither more so than me, because I knew it was my ping pong throwing that had placed them in my custody. I never had much interest in fish after that. I think that’s one reason why I write.

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

A:  I would redefine it as a sport. I think it would be more highly valued and better funded. I think it would bring in a more diverse audience from different social and economic classes. I think theatergoers would be more willing to be surprised by the final outcome. Mostly, I think it better describes the process of putting on a play.

Q:  Who are or were your theatrical heroes?

A:  Martin McDonagh and Kevin Garnett.

Q:  What kind of theater excites you?

A:  Stuff that ignites discussion, or elicits emotion. Precise, wicked, honest, heartfelt, intelligent and preferably funny.

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

A: Mean what you say. Write with your guts and be proud.

Q:  Plugs, please:

A:  Ten Ways On A Gun will play at Theater for the New City from October 9-25, 2015. Tickets can be purchased here: Tinyurl.com/Tenwaysonagun.
 
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