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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...

Oct 3, 2019

I Interview Playwrights Part 1062: Richard Curtis

Richard Curtis

Hometown:  Born in Bronx, NY, grew up in Queens, NY and subsequently Hewlett, Long Island, NY. In short, I'm a New Yorker from head to toes.

Current Town:  Manhattan

Q:  Tell me about Quiet Enjoyment?

A:  A bizarre incident in the closing of our purchase of a co-op inspired the idea for a comedy about a closing that goes as wrong as a deal can go. I sat on the idea for years till I knew my characters, then let 'er rip!

Q:  What else are you working on now?

A:  Short and full-length comedies, satires, and farces.

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 five I made up a song about "The Lady Next Door". My mother declared me a story-telling genius, and I never argued with my mother. I have had more than fifty works of fiction and nonfiction published, and many one-act and ten-minute plays produced.

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

A:  I would quadruple actor pay scales.

Q:  Who are or were your theatrical heroes?

A:  Neil Simon, Feydeau, Paddy Chayevsky, and Dick Van Dyke reruns.

Q:  What kind of theater excites you?

A:  I hold my breath from the opening line to the last one.

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

A:  Work in the theater, make connections with peers who are on their way up. One day they will be in a position to help you get your work performed.

Q:  Plugs, please:

A:  Do you mean plug my own work? Say "I've written a comedy about a co-op closing" and people start laughing. They all have a story. But they don't have one as funny as Quiet Enjoyment. A plug for my director Marcus Gualberto? I see funny in the two-dimensions of a manuscript. He sees funny in the three dimensions of a theater, and he makes it even funnier than I ever imagined.

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