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Feb 26, 2020

I Interview Playwrights Part 1074: Greg Kotis

Greg Kotis

Hometown: Wellfeet, Massachusetts.

Current Town: New York City.

Q:  Tell me about I Am Nobody.

A:  I Am Nobody is a low-budget, guitar-driven musical comedy about people grappling with the excesses of modernity. A tech worker ventures out into the American continent to find and stop his friend from destroying the modern world. Young lovers meet, fall in and out of love, and vice versa. Five characters, fifteen songs, about ninety minutes.

Q:  What else are you working on now?

A:  I'm working on a zombie musical with my longtime writing partner Mark Hollmann. It's a dark comedy about a fast food chain that launches an ambitious new menu item that, apparently, turns people into zombies.

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

A:  More public funding for smaller theater companies.

Q:  Who are or were your theatrical heroes?

A:  David Mamet and Sam Shepherd are two favorites of mine. Both started in storefront theater, developed distinct voices, and wrote great plays. Also, anyone, anywhere who tried - or are trying - to create comedies.

Q;  What kind of theater excites you?

A:  This will sound vague, but I'm most excited by theater that feels like it's honestly pursuing a kind of truth. I trust comedy the most to do this because there's something about laughter, or the right kind of laughter, that's the closest thing we have to agreeing on what's true.

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

A:  I would give the advice that I got way back when from longtime Second City producer and director Bernie Sahlins. He said find a way to get your work in front of an audience. This may mean putting on plays in living rooms or cafe basements or converted garages (all of which I've done), but there is no substitute for feeling how an audience, even a tiny audience, is reacting to your work.

Q:  Plugs, please:

A:  I Am Nobody opens March 5th and runs at The Tank (312 W. 36th Street) through March 28th. Come see! Also...

Necromancers of the Public Domain, Ayun Halliday's variety show inspired by books ninety-five years old or older, plays monthly at The Tank. Next up Perkin Warbeck: Pretender to the Crown of England, March 16th at 8P.

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