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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...

May 23, 2019

I Interview Playwrights Part 1038: Daniel Damiano

Daniel Damiano

Hometown: Point Pleasant, NJ

Current Town: Brooklyn, NY

Q:  Tell me about your play in the EST Marathon.

A:  The Lepers focuses on two recovering alcoholics at a diner in NYC, as they attempt to keep each other's spirits up at the onset of the new year, in January 2017.

Q:  What else are you working on now? 

A: I just finished a draft of a new full-length play called John Frederick Parker Leaves at Intermission, which centers on the man responsible for guarding President Lincoln the night that he was assassinated. I'm also in preparations for bringing my solo play, American Tranquility, to DC in July as part of the Capital Fringe Festival.

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

A: While I embrace the variety of work being done at all levels of the theatre, when it comes to the more established professional theatre companies, I feel that there should be more focus on quality work by playwrights (of any age and gender) who may not be established names in the professional theatre world. I find that many plays are done for their topicality and not as much for their quality, and also feel that older playwrights (who are not already well-known) deserve to have more opportunities, which I'm not really seeing, especially in New York City.

Q:  Who are or were your theatrical heroes? 

A:  Arthur Miller, Edward Albee, Tennessee Williams, John Cassavetes, August Wilson, Henrik Ibsen, Neil Simon, Anne Sexton (she was primarily a poet, of course, but I have found the depth of her work theatrically inspirational.)

Q:  What kind of theater excites you? 

A:   Anything that has some depth, be it dramatic, comedic, surreal, absurd, et al. I love all styles of theatre. I particularly like things that can sustain themselves to the end, and not tread water.

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

A:   Know that you cannot make a living writing plays. Know that as good as you may be, you may never win the contests, awards, fellowships or have an agent. Only do it if you are really passionate about storytelling via playwriting, and are not merely looking at it as a gateway to writing for TV. Write with the goal of your work being performed. Lastly, don't be satisfied with just having your work done by anyone; take pride in your work and encourage communication with your director.

Q:  Plugs, please: 

A:  My wife and I's little theatre company, fandango 4 Art House, will be bringing my solo-play, American Tranquility, to Washington, D.C. where it will run for 5 performances in July as part of the Capital Fringe Festival. The play focuses on the human divide in 21st Century America from the perspective of 4 very different Americans and focuses, in a very humorous, unsettling and moving way, on themes ranging from ageism, immigration, political extremism to societal disconnection. Tickets will be available in June at http://www.CapitalFringe.org.

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