I write plays to unite people
to combat loneliness
and to explain life to the living
(I stole that last bit from José Rivera
but he said it so well
and after all the Greeks write the same story over and over again)

I write about problems of the human heart and condition
like war
and death
and how to make love stay
I write plays my mother can understand
because she is the benchmark of a person who can’t understand anything?
No I just meant she doesn’t go to the theater much at all
Not in her upbringing really
but she likes a good story
with meat on its bones

I write plays that scream out to be theatrical
because surprising events can happen on stage which can
make the audience
WAKE UP
and ENGAGE
with each other, the actors, and the story
and they will feel differently at the end than they did at the beginning
and this difference could lead to
CHANGE
maybe

I love it when language becomes landscape
and when emotions are visceral
when audience members yell out loud
or sigh
or shake their heads at my characters
or laugh
but especially when they cry.
I am a sucker for making people cry
(Paul Walsh told me at New Harmony it’s ok if people don’t cry when I want them to; that they are having their own emotional experience. I still like to see the water works)

I am pained by the American Theater
because it so demonically hard to make a living
and also
it is not so easy to make art while making a living
and also
promoting that art is a task that is not a fit for everyone’s personality
(pick me! pick me!)

I have a long list of worries
Most of them are about money
and my kids
and my mother
and money for my kids and my mother
for college, or health care, or a car with air bags because I worry about their little heads
or what if I get sick or…
once in while I worry about my marriage (who doesn’t?)

I am not worried about making art
because I have lots of plans and ideas
and that feels right and good
and also it seems that I’ve always gotten what I need from agencies, and grants, and jobs and residencies
to keep making art
so if you base it all on past performances to predict future gains
(which they tell you not to do in terms of the stock market anyway)
probably it will all be ok

Sometimes I stop worrying for a second or two (never three)
and remember that it IS actually all ok
because although it is belly-achingly hard
this job, this life as a playwright
it is exactly what I am meant to do

Anne Bogart wrote in her book that Mother Theresa told Morgan Jenness that
she should do theater because
“In my country there is a famine of the body and
in your country there is a famine of the spirit
and that is what you must feed”

So this life, it really is a gift
to be doing what one ought to do
Because there are so many stories to tell
And in the end (the real end)
all we are is stories