13 Jul OOB Final 30 Countdown – John Connon
We are exactly one week into our Final 30 countdown, and today’s special guest is John Connon!
John Connon is a writer/producer/director/actor working out of the Southeast. His scripts for short plays, full-length feature films, and web series have been festival award-winners across the country. His show Massage a Trois earned a Patron’s Pick award at the 2015 Orlando International Fringe Festival. He won awards at the 2014 L.A. WebFest in Writing and Production for the husband/wife body-swap comedy The Sex Trade. He has also appeared in several commercial campaigns, such as Penske, Brighthouse Cable, Florida Lottery, and Walmart. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Studies from the University of Michigan.
1. When did you start writing plays? If you had a moment where you realized you wanted to write, what was it?
I’ve always written stories in some form or another. In college, I began working on screenplays. It wasn’t until I got involved in PlayFest at the Orlando Shakespeare Theatre and I began meeting playwrights and talking with them about their process that I thought plays were a form I could tackle. I got involved with an acting studio that put on a showcase each fall, and they were looking for short scripts to produce. I really loved the edgy work the studio was putting on, and that inspired me to put some of my own twisted ideas down on paper.
2. How did you come to write your OOB play? Was there a particular inspiration behind its creation? How has it developed?
My inspiration for AMBUSH! was really just day-time television in general. Every morning show has that ambush make-over episode, and I would watch the way these hosts would just salivate over the idea of taking some poor woman and transforming her into some other, more “acceptable” version of herself. I thought of how the woman had to feel being pulled out of the queue and told this was going to happen to her, as if the way she showed up to be on television in the studio audience wasn’t even good enough for her family. Then, of course, I had to take that concept and make it as extreme and funny as I could.
3. What are 5 words that describe who you are as a playwright?
Whack-a-doo, Fun, Dark, Endearing, Poignant.
4. What/who are some of the major influences on your writing?
Caryl Churchill, Laurie Anderson, Saturday Night Live, Steve Yockey, William Missouri Downs, Mark Harvey Levine, The Tectonic Theatre Project
5. What’s one fact someone would never guess about you?
I spent my formative teen-age years on our naval base in Guantanamo Bay Cuba.
6. What are some of your favorite plays?
Cloud 9 by Caryl Churchill, The Laramie Project by Tectonic Theatre Project, Blackberry Winter by Steve Yockey, Stones in His Pockets by Marie Jones, Zombie Town by Tim Bauer
7. Any new projects you’re working on or shameless plugs?
YES!!! My latest web series This Is Why I’m Single is posting on the YouTubes, and we are in the process of writing the 2nd season! I directed, co-wrote, and co-star in it. It’s a sort of Sex and the City for the straight guy. Our hero Mitch turns to the Internet to figure out why he is still single when his dim bulb friend Jeff (that’s me!) announces he is getting married. What ensues is a series of hilariously horrible dates and some not-so-thorough self-examination. Find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/tiwiswebseries
His play Ambush! will be performed on August 10th at 8:30pm. In this twisted comedy, frumpy housewife Anna MacIntyre battles for her own self-esteem when wakes up to find herself caught in the most humiliating ambush ever.