Shelley and Gary live hundreds of miles apart but are connected by their shared fear of the upcoming threat that is Y2K. Is their blossoming online friendship strong enough to break through the two-feet-thick walls of their underground shelters?
Jeff Ronan is a New York-based playwright and actor whose plays have been performed and work shopped with The Flea, The Tank, The Secret Theatre, The PIT, Premiere Stages, and Manhattan Repertory Theatre. Recent works include The Countdown, New American Plays, and Cat Call.
A BIT ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT
1. When did you start writing plays? If you had a moment where you realized you wanted to write, what was it?
I’d always written stories as a kid, but I didn’t start writing plays until college. I think my need to write just feels most natural when I can express it by marrying it to my other love, acting. I was understudying a play a year or two out of college and had a ton of downtime, and one day I just started writing and haven’t stopped.
2. How did you come to write your OOB play? Was there a particular inspiration behind its creation? How has it developed?
I was interested in exploring the idea of New Year’s Eve and the significance that people can place upon it (resolutions, new year/new me, etc). I started writing a series of one acts, each one exploring New Year’s Eve in some form or another. I knew I wanted to look at Y2K in one of them, and I’ve always been fascinated by couples that form bonds not just over shared loves, but shared fears. The idea of a love story between two paranoid conspiracy theorists seemed ideal.
3. What are 5 words that describe who you are as a playwright?
Darkly funny, but ultimately hopeful.
4. What/who are some of the major influences on your writing?
The dark comedy of Tracy Letts and Martin McDonagh, the grounded absurdity of Ayckbourn, and the atmosphere of Checkhov.
5. What’s one fact someone would never guess about you?
My hair’s brown now, but it was white-blonde as a child, so you wouldn’t guess it to look at me, but I came in second place in a Dennis the Menace look-alike contest when I was six.
6. What are some of your favorite plays?
In no particular order, Twelfth Night, Uncle Vanya, Venus in Fur, Harry Clarke, Marjorie Prime, The Lonesome West, and Private Lives.
7. Any new projects you’re working on or shameless plugs?
I’m actually working out of the country for the majority of 2019, but I’ll be back in November with some projects coming down the pipeline.