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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...

Nov 19, 2016

I Interview Playwrights Part 892: Stephen Gregg

Stephen Gregg

Hometown:  Albuquerque, New Mexico

Current Town:  Venice, California

Q:  What are you working on now?

A:  It's a play called Trap. Like most of the plays I write, it's designed to be performed by high school students. Trap is fake documentary theatre, and it's horror. I'm trying to write the theatre equivalent of The Blair Witch Project.

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 had essentially perfect parents who encouraged my writing from the earliest age I can remember. When I was twelve, I wrote something that they found amusing, and they actually took me to the main branch of the Albuquerque library so that we could research the best places to submit it.

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

A:  It's so earnest. So much of theatre is lacking any sense of fun or, as it were, play.

Q:  Who are or were your theatrical heroes?

A:  A month after his death it's hard not to think about Edward Albee. He took the forms that other people were working with and stretched them and he did so in the face of vicious criticism that was often explicitly aimed at his being gay.

Q:  What kind of theater excites you?

A:  I love immersive theatre. As long as we're going to use live actors, why not let the audience actually walk into the story?

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

A:  I'd say write two-character plays. They're good starters because they teach you basic dramatic structure. A character wants something, increasingly big obstacles get in their way.

Q:  Plugs, please:

A:  Hmm. I've got three.

My new play, Crush, was on the cover of Dramatics magazine in May and on the main stage of the International Thespian Festival in June. It's just now available from Dramatic Publishing.

I tweet—exclusively about playwriting— @playwrigntnow. I try to use twitter to teach myself to write plays. Feel free to listen in or join in.
And, I'm part of LabTwenty6, a writing group that I love. It's playwrights, screenwriters, TV and fiction writers. It's surprising how often a perspective from another discipline is helpful to your own. If you're in Los Angeles, come check us out!

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