Beautiful People in a Living Room Doing Nothing
Edward and Victoria – that might as well be their names – are paragons of 20th century theatre. Coward and Simon and Rattigan would all adore, um… Edward and Victoria! Right. But Edward and Victoria are forgetting who they are. They’ve lived through the same living room drama so many times, and they’re ready for something new. Can they keep their wits long enough to break the pattern and finally come to life, or will history repeat itself again and again?
Alec is a queer, neurodivergent writer and actor who writes about the clash between the ways we see ourselves and the narratives imposed upon us. From family mythos, to media tropes, to cultural expectations, he tells stories to untell the stories that keep us from ourselves. His work has been selected for theatre festivals across the country, including the Kennedy Center’s American College Theatre Festival and the Valdez Last Frontier Theater Conference. He is a two time winner of the AP Sloan Foundation grant for science in TV/Film, and he will generally do just about anything to get affection from any dog.
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 started writing plays when I realized how hard it was to get cast in a play. But my struggles in one area were a blessing in another, because writing has gotten me deeper in touch with myself in a way that acting never has. I was at first terrified to communicate and organize all of my wild internal ramblings, but my creativity exploded once I met that fear. Writing allows me more agency and authenticity than I ever thought I could have, and I’m ecstatic to share a small piece of that with the OOB Festival.
2. How did you come to write your OOB play? Was there a particular inspiration behind its creation? How has it developed?
During grad school, the head of our program assigned a big list of plays to read before graduating. Noel Coward’s “Private Lives” was among them, and Act Two was a revelation to me. It’s a thirty minute scene that consists entirely of two people trying their best not to cause any drama (and ultimately failing of course). The scene can only work if the actors are so beautiful and charming that we’re willing to watch them not move the plot along for a third of the whole play. I thought that was the perfect encapsulation of The Living Room Play, so I wrote this little banger and here we are.
3. What are 5 words that describe who you are as a playwright?
Acerbic, witty, accidentally tragic, so sexy
4. What/who are some of the major influences on your writing?
LOL I don’t know how to answer that. Honestly, any time I feel influenced by someone my ADHD kicks in and I end up following circuitous chaos logic in a completely different direction. I’m sure there are a lot of influences bubbling away in me, but I can’t point to any. Maybe Edward Albee. Virginia Woolf was the first time I saw a story about a story people were telling themselves. But yeah, other than that it’s a mess.
5. What’s one fact someone would never guess about you?
If I could do it all again I’d drop out of school and learn to tattoo.
6. What are some of your favorite plays?
Pipeline, Orphans, Endlings, The Nether, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, The Deep Blue Sea, How I Learned to Drive, As Bees in Honey Drown, Dance Nation
7. Any new projects you’re working on or shameless plugs?
I’m developing a series of animated shorts about cute animals that try to go on grand adventures, but learn that nature is cruel and uncaring towards their fantasies.