I am currently in production for Leading Ladies at the Woodstock Opera House and I'm quite proud to say this is the third of your plays I've directed (my personal favorite is MOON OVER BUFFALO.)
My questions: what do you hope to achieve with your plays? (I realize that sounds like an obnoxious interview question or final essay question but I'd like to share your insight with my cast). And when's the next one?
I thank you for all the laughter and glee you've brought my casts, crews, and audiences over the year.
And continue to go to Edinburgh---I've been a fan of the Festivals since 2000!!
What a lovely letter. I'm really thrilled that you've done three of my plays. I should have a sweatshirt with your name on it.
It's hard to encapsulate in a sentence or two what I hope to achieve with my plays. As you know from directing them, I'm generally trying to take the world into a happier, better place--to give people something to laugh about and feel good about. I want my audiences to live their lives through the basic decency and humanity of the characters. As I recently described it to someone in the press, I hope that people might think of my plays as taking their place in what is sometimes referred to as the Great Tradition of English-American Comedy, a kind of comedy stretching from Much Ado About Nothing to She Stoops to Conquer to The Man Who Came To Dinner and beyond -- comedies that bring their communities closer to the sanity and good fellowship we all deserve. My hope is that my plays like Lend Me A Tenor, Leading Ladies and Moon Over Buffalo -- as well as Shakespeare in Hollywood and all the others -- offer a relief from the dystopian visions we confront on a daily basis. The characters in my plays survive, find hope and flourish in this world, despite its challenges.
I will definitely go back to Edinburgh some day soon. It was too inspiring not to revisit. And it was a thrill seeing that one of my plays was being done there this year.
My latest play is a comedy called A Fox on the Fairway. It's a comedy about love and golf, very much in the tradition of Lend Me A Tenor, Moon Over Buffalo and Leading Ladies. It opens as underdog Quail Valley Country Club prepares to take on arch-rival Crouching Squirrel at the annual Inter-Club Golf Tournament. There's a sizable wager at stake, and the contest plays out among several love affairs, a lost diamond, objectionable sweaters and an exploding vase. Signature Theatre in Arlington, VA did a staged reading of the play in June, and they will produce the world premiere as part of their 2010-2011 season. The play will be available for licensing soon after that. I hope you'll consider directing it in the future.
Please tell the cast and crew that I wish them all the best with the production. I hope it's a smash hit!
To ask Ken a question, click here.