I always get a little worried when I hear that a theater is premiering the work of a local playwright. On principle, I applaud it -- absolutely. How's a writer to learn stagecraft and dramaturgy without collaborating with actors, directors and tech people? And how can a city have a vital, exciting theater scene without the work of these writers? But applauding the concept in principle isn't the same as actually wanting to experience the results. There are some serious local talents here, but given the choice of an evening with an untried Colorado playwright or...oh, I don't know...Tony Kushner, the always skilled and entertaining Alan Ayckbourn, Caryl Churchill, Harold Pinter or Tom Stoppard, my preference is clear. Besides, early plays are much too often about the playwright's voyage of self-discovery, and unless that playwright's a mafioso, an Angolan child soldier, an Irish kid from the projects, a poet or a profoundly original thinker -- in other words, someone uniquely interesting -- these ruminations are best saved for the... More >>>
Emily Paton Davies and Laura Norman in Ellen K. Graham's How We May Know Him.