Thanks for reading. And thank you Blue Coyote Theatre Company for picking to be one of your commissioned writers :)
Just to be clear: I am doing this for the money.
...But if I weren’t doing this for the money, I’d be doing it cause I’m a fan of BCTC, the work they do, what they stand for, the talent they have assembled on and off stage.
My association with Blue Coyote came about because 15 years ago (!) I met Stephen Speights while we were both marathon dancing in Anne Bogart’s MARATHON DANCING. We were… glorified stagehands? Extras? Except at the end we all danced, so we were performers too. We were fast friends. I possibly had a mini crush on Stephen, as one does, but I might be making this up. He was and is crushworthy so I think this reflects well on me either way.
Years have gone by and I’ve seen a lot of BCTC shows and have always been impressed by the integrity, the passion, the humor, the naughty language. Some of my favorite theatrical experiences of the past 10 years have been at the Access: the plays of David Foley, David Johnston; the work of Vince Gatton and Gary Shrader...
Stephen and Gary have always been supportive of my work, which has meant a great deal, and so let me introduce myself:
I tend to write plays about scared people who discover their strength, people awake to history but who try and navigate their own small lives within in, to find happy endings (heartbroken happy endings?) in a world that often has no use for them.
Also I hope to be funny. And joyous. That’s the goal at least, in works as disparate as the musical I wrote with my brother about 2 soldiers in love during WW2 (YANK!) and in the plays I write alone like my angry heartbroken meditation on 120 years of Zionism (ARIEL SHARON STANDS AT THE TEMPLE MOUNT AND DREAMS OF THEODOR HERZL).
Here is the play Blue Coyote commissioned:
HUNTERS AND THIEVES takes place in a ramshackle Queens apartment owned by Mrs. Huff. She is an old woman from a (real) small autonomous region in Russia called Udmurtia. She is mysterious, an actress, an exile. She rents the main room in her apartment to Nate, a scared 18 year old who goes to NYU and may or may not be a thief in order to earn money to live. When he and his friend Clem suspect she has a treasure in her apartment, they plan to rob her. But when she wakes and discovers the plot, they become prey to her wrath…
The play is barely begun. But I aim to fill it with as much integrity, passion, humor, and naughty language as an audience at Blue Coyote has the right to expect.- David Zellnik