Why I write plays

Monday, July 5, 2022


I am, on occasion, asked why I write plays (instead of say, movies or television shows, which I am certainly open to doing), and specifically why I write about the things I do: ghosts and monsters and robots and deities, outcasts and rejects and dreamers and losers, aging heavy metal fans and foul-mouthed parrots and people who fall in love with each other while playing Dungeons and Dragons.
My answers, as if somehow channeled directly from the sweet, damaged dreamers that so often end up with featured roles in my stories, are as lofty and noble as they are foolish and over0reaching and ultimately unachievable.

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I write plays, — stories created specifically for live theatrical presentation — because theater is intimate and dangerous, because it’s one of those wildly beautiful artforms where you are in a room breathing the same air as the people who are making the art for you (a much scarier commitment these days than perhaps in the past). I write plays because I believe they have a unique power to calm people and soothe people and delight people and scare people. I want to rattle people so hard, or make them laugh so deeply, that they need a chiropractor in the morning. I also want to pass them a couple of ibuprofen and a diagram of stretches they might want to try before going to sleep that night. Basically, I want them to leave the theater a slightly but detectably different person than when they entered and took their seat.
Plays can do that, in a way I genuinely respect and enjoy.
As for why I write plays about the curiously offbeat characters I do, my answer is simple. I love them.

If there is a better reason to write about anything, or to write at all, I’d like to know.

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