What We Talk About When We Talk About The Homeless
by Adi Eshman

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At a dinner party in Los Angeles, two couples discuss how to fix the homeless problem in their city. Seriously. This problem can’t go on any longer.




Adi Eshman is a playwright, screenwriter and educator based in Los Angeles, CA. He holds an MFA in Dramatic Writing from the USC School for Dramatic Arts. His plays have been performed at Columbia University, USC, NYU, Los Angeles Theatre Center, Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre and the Tank. His short film ANNE has been accepted into over 30 film festivals throughout the US and Canada. It was also in consideration for the 2023 Academy Awards for Best Live Action Short Film. He was a 2018 Jewish Plays Contest finalist, a recipient of the NYU Jewish Studies Grant and is a former member of the Civilians’ Field Research Team. For more information, check out his website at adieshman.net. BA: NYU Gallatin.



1. When did you start writing plays? If you had a moment where you realized you wanted to write, what was it?


I started writing short sketches for friends in the 4th grade. I wrote my first full-length play in my senior year of college in 2015. I knew I wanted to write when I discovered, at any early age, how much fun it was to control a social situation where people say the things I want them to say. Because normally, social situations do not go as I planned them to. Also, I love hearing people talk, and hearing how people think while they’re talking (or what they think when they’re not talking).


2. How did you come to write your OOB play? Was there a particular inspiration behind its creation? How has it developed?


I wrote my OOB play for a theater festival at USC called New Theatre for Right Now. The prompt for the festival was “Taboo.” What subjects are difficult to bring up in social settings, where people may have views that you don’t agree with? The particular inspiration for this play was that I grew in Venice Beach. There are a lot of people who live on the streets here, and for as long as I can remember, people who have homes in Venice Beach have been complaining about them. With my interest in history and society, I thought — what would it look like if those conversations about homeless people took an insidious turn? And is that darker conversation about the homeless any more heartless than what we already do to people living on the streets?


3. What are 5 words that describe who you are as a playwright?


Searching. Brash. Restless. Sensitive. Fucked-up.


4. What/who are some of the major influences on your writing?


Some of my influences are playwrights like Lucas Hnath (whom I studied under at NYU), Annie Baker, Ruby Rae Spiegel, Martin McDonagh, Sam Shepard, Keelay Gipson and Stephen Adly Giurgius. I’m also inspired by stand up comedians like Chris Rock, John Mulaney, George Carlin, Wanda Sykes and Jena Friedman, as well as novelists and comic book authors like Haruki Murakami, Will Eisner, Art Spiegelman and Octavia Butler.


5. What’s one fact someone would never guess about you?


My mom is a rabbi, I think that’s pretty different. If you know my writing, maybe that’s surprising, or maybe it’s not surprising at all.


6. What are some of your favorite plays?


A Public Reading…. About the Death of Walt Disney by Lucas Hnath. Dry Land by Ruby Rae Spiegel. Smoke by Kim Davies. Raisin in the Sun. Slave Play by Jeremy O. Harris.


7. Any new projects you’re working on or shameless plugs?


I have a couple new play ideas in the works. I’m also revising my thesis play that had a student production at USC last month, entitled Weekend Warriors.