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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...

Mar 29, 2017

I Interview Playwrights Part 922: Charly Clive

Charly Clive

Hometown: Oxford, England

Current Town: Brooklyn, beautiful Brooklyn

Q:  Tell me about CAMEL:

A:  I grew up in England but I'm an American citizen and a lot of my family are Virginian. I spent a decent amount of my life in suburban Virginia and "Camel" is sort of my love letter to a few of its less desirable characters. It's a dark comedy about loss, love, weed and small towns. You haven't heard this story before. We have a madly talented cast and crew working on it and it's been really exciting to bring it to life.

Q:  What else are you working on now?

A:  A show for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival (August 2017) called "John". Written by myself and my long suffering writing partner, Ellen Robertson. "John" is based on our experience filming a documentary when we were teenagers and traveling around the USA in a Greyhound bus. An onstage roadtrip.

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 a kid I loved to play 'I Spy' but nobody loved to play with me because every time I'd spy with my little eye, regardless of the letter I'd said it began with my answer was always the same. Whale. Every time for years my answer would always be 'whale' even though I could never actually see one. Maybe I would do it because I thought it was funny or for attention (both are very on brand) but actually I think it's because I did see a damn whale. It wasn't actually there but I saw it and I wanted to talk about it. I used to not really be able to separate reality from my imagination and I didn't understand why people would say 'there isn't a whale!' of course there was a whale, they just weren't looking properly.

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

A:  Ticket prices.

Q:  Who are or were your theatrical heroes?

A:  I have so many but my favorite and most personal theatrical hero is Jonathan Bolt, a brilliant man with an astonishing career who I've been lucky enough to have as a boss, mentor, director and co-collaborator.

Q:  What kind of theater excites you?

A:  Live.

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

A:  Don't take yourself too seriously- it's okay to fall in and out of love with what your writing, it can be hard to stay inspired. Writing dialogue is a really incredible thing and we've all done it since we were kids playing with barbies and action figures so enjoy it, see the absurdity of it and keep playing!

Q:  Plugs, please:

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