What inspired you to make the magic you do?

Dear Ken,

Is it okay that this isn't a question so much as me gushing? My first play was Moon Over Buffalo, I was Roz, and it was a truly amazing experience. It's a great show, and an especially fantastic first show. I wasn't even sure about auditioning, but then I read the parts of the script in the audition packet and noticed how incredibly well written and hilarious it was! You are a truly gifted playwright. Not many shows (tv, movies, stage, anything) make me laugh. Chuckle, sure, a few giggles here and there, but few make me clutch my side in a laughing fit. Your shows make me clutch my side in a laughing fit! I feel bad about not asking a question, so I guess I'll ask one....What inspired you to make the magic you do?

-Lena


Ken replies:

Dear Lena,

Thank you for your lovely note. I'm enormously pleased you enjoy my plays. It really does my heart good.

It's odd, choosing to be a playwright. I look at my brother, who's a businessman, and many of my friends who are doctors and lawyers, and I think about how safe and sensible it is to go into those wonderful professions. For some reason, as I was growing up, I was simply thrilled by going into a theatre and sitting in audience as the lights went down. And from the beginning what I loved best were comedies. My parents took me to see shows in New York once a year as I was growing up - and by the time I was in high school in a small town in southern Pennsylvania I was going to every play within a 50-mile radius. My palette expanded from nice straightforward, well-plotted domestic comedies, like the early plays of Neil Simon and the aristocratic well-made plays of William Douglas Home (which I continue to love), to the more mysterious comedies of Noel Coward and Terence Rattigan (mysterious because they're so artful and seem so effortless); and then to the zanier comedies of Ben Travers and Georges Feydeau. I then acquired a huge love for 18th century English comedy; and then for Shaw and Shakespeare, which I study for hours a week to this day. I'm a firm believer that if you follow what you love you'll find a way of making a happy life and (as my father always counseled me) you must wake up every day looking forward to the day's work. If you don't, you're in the wrong profession.

Thank you again for your wonderful note. It was kind of you to write.

All best,

Ken

Ken Ludwig


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