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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Playwright Portrait, Itamar Moses, Excerpt from Stories

The Playwright Itamar Moses, 2008

The reader:

The terrible thing about writing, the thing that, sometimes, he finds the most terrible is the way that that initial spark, that maybe orange glowing ember-tip of a new thing, that genesis, that it happens so easily, that the idea for something comes in a flash, which, while, okay, admittedly, is not a very original way to describe a moment of inspiration in the creative process, but it’s true, it’s almost literally true if you think of neurons and the way they make little electrical storms, but how an idea will come in a flash: A man and a woman. Sitting at a table. There is history. There are particulars. That comes, all of it, in a single moment. Or, okay, full disclosure, because that was never the idea, so, more accurately, to be really really truthful, the idea of a scene that doesn’t get to start, because it is hijacked by its own opening stage direction, by someone nameless, identified only as: “The Reader.” This idea comes in a flash, and it’s joyous, it seems right, and good, and like it will be, for as long as it takes to write, it will be the answer to all of my problems. He thinks. But how, and this, finally, is the terrible thing, how the process of actually writing it is nothing at all like that first flash. The rest is just the day to day work of building something. Often frustrating. Often boring. Often seeming to be almost entirely without the prospect of any discernible reward. And that the choices are therefore to write it and feel only deadened by the poor results especially in light of the brightness of the flash. Or not to write it. And to be haunted by it. A chance unruined because it went untried. An impossible choice unredeemed by the fact that even this, even this idea to write about the choice itself, making use of slightly more recently developed but no less contrived meta-formal meta-conventions, as a way of maybe, finally, saying something a little bit near the vicinity of what he wants to say, even this was part of the idea from the beginning. This was always the idea.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Playwright Portrait, Josh Fox, Excerpt from A Great Country Will Be Cleared

The Playwright Josh Fox 2009

A Great Country Will Be Cleared

Woman: Something I heard a crack like winter coming and I felt cold. I built a fire and still felt cold. Something inside could bend no further. And then weak. And I know of my strength and started to know weakness. I slept next to my axe a week before I knew weakness. Can you stop a phrase by holding your breath?
Bite a falling apple in the air? Can you stop the axe on the way down? This falls like love.

A Great Country Will Be Cleared
Character: Woman

Friday, January 14, 2011

Playwright Portrait, Horton Foote, Excerpt from A Coffin in Egypt

The Playwright Horton Foote 2007


I’m older by twenty years than the mulatto, Maude Jenkins,
but I’ve outlived so many, I might outlive her. Who will
come to her funeral? There will be lots of Jenkins there,
because they are still thick in the country and the blacks
will come from everywhere from all the bottoms and the
prairies, out of curiosity if nothing else.
(a pause)
And I’d like to go just to get a look at her after all these
years. But I couldn’t, of course, even if I was still alive
(a pause)
“The Angel that talked with me came again, and waked me, as a
man that’s wakened out of his sleep.”
(a pause)
“The Angel that talked with me came again, and waked me, as a
man that’s wakened out of his sleep.”
(a pause)
What was the name of Mr. Frohman’s theater? The Empire.
It was across the street from the Metropolitan Opera House.
They’re both torn down I read somewhere. I attended them
both. Many times. I loved New York. I loved Paris. I
loved Algiers. I loved Rome. I loved...Egypt. Not, Egypt,
Texas, but Egypt. Egypt...Magic, Egypt. I used to tell
Hunter that when I died I wanted to be cremated and have my
ashes taken to one of the beautiful places I’d known as a
young woman. But now, I don’t care. Who is there left to
take my ashes anywhere? Anyway, they have a place for my
body between Hunter’s grave and my two girls and that’s where
I’ll end. In a coffin in Egypt. This Egypt. Out on the
prairie. And in the spring our graves will be covered with
the wildflowers, with primroses and Indian blankets and blue

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Playwright Portrait, Ken Urban, Excerpt from Nibbler

The Playwright Ken Urban, 2009

Hayley, you think I don’t want to have numerous women of various ages slap my face with their luscious breasts repeatedly?
You think I don’t plan on watching pornographic movies featuring the most vile and extreme expressions of sexuality between man, woman and beast?
You think I don’t desire to enter a hotel room off of Route 130 and stand in line to fuck a faceless man’s asshole while the others fuck his mouth repeatedly, each of us eventually cumming on his face?
You think I don’t envision a lost weekend where every one of my orifices is poked and probed by an incalculable number of genitals, devices, mouths, fingers, household appliances, electrical fuses, and young reptiles?
Everyone has dreams Hayley, everyone.
We will have a Volvo and two kids and our parents will envy us and we’ll tell everyone at cocktail parties we met in high school, we are high school sweethearts, and every time, they will coo and moo at the sight of our unending love, jealous of our perfect union, completely unaware that hours ago I was involved in acts of extreme debauchery at a Motel 6 in Pennsauken with a young Asian couple and their lapdog, while you’re pretending to be fucked by a man thrice your age in a Santa costume.
But see, they’ll never know. Because there are things you never talk about.