A Definitive Ranking of My Closest Friends
by Jay Stalder

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A short comedy about a definitely possibly toxic group of six friends, whose time together always seems to end in hurt feelings. They’re nearly out the door for their annual camping trip when a private note is found on the ground. On this small piece of paper are all of their names, ranked.




Jay Stalder is a writer (gay) and actor (young) living in Los Angeles, CA. He has performed with the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Shakespeare Festival St. Louis and the Hollywood Fringe Festival, where a version of this short play had a successful run last summer (winner of the Hollywood Encore Producers’ Award). His next play U-Haul Play will premiere at the festival next year, and his short film Hurt People! Hurt People! is in post-production. A Definitive Ranking of my Closest Friends was also adapted into a short film of the same name (Independent Shorts Award; Dumbo Film Festival in Brooklyn, NY). Jay studied Acting at Webster Conservatory. Currently he has a boyfriend and a fulfilling social life.




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

I was entertaining drunk adults with my original plays at a very young age, on the stage built in the basement of my childhood home. I got serious about writing in college, but there really is no better audience than your parents and their friends after a couple drinks.


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

It’s the beauty of MySpace Top 8 (a truly revolutionary tool used to rank your best friends online), but face-to-face. It’s also very loosely inspired by a mistake I got very close to making. I’ve played with this story in a few ways: it’s been a reading, a short film, a one-act. This is my favorite version.


What are five words that describe who you are as a playwright?

Contemporary, naturalistic, candid, biting and gay.


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

Mike Bartlett, Lena Dunham’s Girls, Cole Escola.


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

When I’m not writing, I’m working on an exhaustively accurate LEGO replica of my bedroom.


What are some of your favorite plays?

Die Mommie Die! by Charles Busch; God of Carnage by Yasmina Reza; Prodigal Son by John Patrick Shanley; Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? by Edward Ablee.


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

Look out for my short film Hurt People! Hurt People!

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