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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...

Sep 15, 2017

I Interview Playwrights Part 993: Bert V. Royal

Bert V. Royal

Hometown: Green Cove Springs, FL

Current Town: Los Angeles, CA

Q:  What are you working on now?

A:  Mostly floating around the TV space with a few pilots. One is with Legendary Television and the other is with the Mark Gordon Company and they’re both in development. Still trying to get the ‘Dog Sees God’ movie up and running. Theatre-wise, I just started writing a play that I’m really into. I recently watched an old season of ‘Big Brother’ and I became fascinated with Dan Gheesling. The play imagines a fictitious version of him on a fictitious reality show and a very disturbing (fictitious) event happens…

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

A:  When I was in fourth grade, I decided to write a novel. This is really embarrassing. It was called ‘Slipping Into the Subconscious’ and I think it was about a guy who couldn’t tell if he was dreaming or not and someone got murdered and it was really bad and made absolutely no sense and clocked in at a whopping fourteen pages (handwritten). Typed, probably would’ve been six and a half. I was convinced it was going to be published. AS A NOVEL. Truly convinced. I was a very unique type of child. I still to this day and am delusional about certain projects.

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

A:  I think audiences can be insufferably rude. If someone talks in a theater during a live performance, I want them to be decapitated in public. So, to answer your question, I’d be the only person in the audience.

Q:  Who are or were your theatrical heroes?

A:  Stephen Sondheim is my everything. I love him more than anyone will ever comprehend. Also, Doug Wright is an absolute genius. The scope of that man’s talents are unfathomable.

Q:  What kind of theater excites you?

A:  I really love musicals - but I tend to gravitate to more intimate ones, i.e. First Lady Suite and First Daughter Suite (perfection!), Floyd Collins, Caroline or Change (does it get any better?). I love plays that tend to border on the absurd. And I’m really getting into the immersive theater thing.

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

A:  It’s so important to hear your stuff out loud. Even unfinished - maybe ESPECIALLY unfinished. Get a group of great friends and read it around your coffee table with wine. It helps you find your rhythm and it’s always good to listen to feedback from people you trust. You shouldn’t always just take everyone’s notes. But it’s a good thing to listen.

Q:  When not writing on a computer, what's your go-to paper and writing utensil? When on computer, what's your font?

A:  I really don’t write on paper anymore, because I’m a loser. I can never find a pen. It’s a comedy when it happens. TRAJAN PRO is the greatest font ever created.

Q:  Plugs, please:

A:  Yeah. I say that all the time. Balding sucks.

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