I have a lot of favorite playwrights.
Oftentimes, I’ll love some of their plays but not others. For example, I thought Tracy Letts’ August: Osage County was genius because of the way he wove a complex story with so many characters, all of whom were relevant, realized and unique; however, I found Superior Doughnuts extremely disappointing because it felt both repetitive and preachy. Edward Albee is also hit and miss with me; Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf is a masterpiece because, other than Blanche from Streetcar, I think Martha is the most deliciously flawed character in the theatre. On the other end of the spectrum is Three Tall Women- which left me feeling cold. I really like Wendy Wasserstein’s wit and, as someone who came from the same Jewish, middle class upbringing, I understand a lot of the schtick and nuances of her characters. I also love love love Arthur Miller’s structure and storytelling, especially in All My Sons. I enjoy Lanford Wilson’s dialogue and loved Balm in Gilead because it was the first time I ever saw a play which didn’t feel like a play…I actually felt like a voyeur, which is something I really strive for in my own writing and is why I tend to write plays which take place on a single set. But, when all is said and done, Chekhov and Shakespeare are, by far, my favorite playwrights. Uncle Vanya is my all time favorite play because it is equally sad and funny and the characters jump off the page.