College friends Mallory and Tyler seem like the perfect match for platonic roommates. There’s only one problem: When Tyler goes to the bathroom, he “misses”
Patrick Vermillion is a Chicago Playwright by way of NYC. His plays have been seen at Ensemble Studio Theater, IRT, Soho Playhouse, and Alchemical Lab in New York, as well as LSU in Louisiana, Next Iteration Theater in Houston, and Pulp Stage in Portland, Oregon. He is a recipient of the 2015 David Lindsay-Abaire award for his play Drinking Game, and the 2016 winner of Sanguine Theater Company’s Project Playwright for his play Jessica. He is currently developing a play for Steep Theater, about the Muscular Christianity movement in the early 20th Century.
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 went into undergrad at Sarah Lawrence thinking I wanted to be a comp-sci person, but got placed in a playwriting class my first year and it quickly became my favorite thing in the world. I remember at the end of the year we got to write a full-length play, and I ended up getting so excited I wrote mine all in one night. I think it was then that I knew I wanted to do this for as long as I could.
2. How did you come to write your OOB play? Was there a particular inspiration behind its creation? How has it developed?
This play was written for a playwriting class I took at Northwestern with Thomas Bradshaw. For the first three weeks of class we had to write a short play based on a prompt Thomas gives us. This prompt was (If I remember correctly): a play about love and cruelty. This is…what came out of that. Hopefully that comes through.
3. What are 5 words that describe who you are as a playwright?
Impatient, excited, over-stimulated, depressed, hungry
4. What/who are some of the major influences on your writing?
My parents first and foremost, not in a bad way, they’ve just been really nice about the whole “I’m a playwright” thing. Todd Solondz movies , niche Facebook Groups, the particular masculine angst of growing up in north-central Jersey, 80s-synth pop and 90s alternative, Voltaire recently for some reason, and of course my amazing teachers throughout the years: Stuart Spencer, Rebecca Gilman, Ariel Stess, Thomas Bradshaw, Calamity West, and Zayd Dohrn
5. What’s one fact someone would never guess about you?
The first time I ever ACTED-acted in a play was at the age of 21 and I played a Dog. I was the Mastiff in Sarah Lawrence College’s production of Jen Silverman’s The Moors directed by my brilliant friend, Carsen Joenk. I’m not saying it was the role I was born to play, but I think I made a decent dog. And Jen Silverman’s writing is so incredible that it was an amazing first experience. I haven’t acted too much since then, but roles for dogs are few and far between.
6. What are some of your favorite plays?
Chekov’s four major plays, Ibsen’s Ghosts, Genet’s The Balcony, Young Jean Lee’s We’re Gonna Die, Priestly’s Time and The Conways, Wellman’s 7 Blowjobs, Baker’s The Antipodes, Wallace Shawn’s Aunt Dan and Lemon, everything Sarah Kane ever wrote, and Peter Weiss’s Marat Sade. Also the amazing plays by the young playwrights who are changing the medium as we know it: Jeremy O. Harris’s Slave Play and Daddy, Will Arbery’s Heroes of the Fourth Turning, Clare Barron’s Dance Nation, Michael R. Jackson’s A Strange Loop, Lauren Yee’s Cambodian Rock Band, and Jackie Sibblies Drury’s Fairview
7. Any new projects you’re working on or shameless plugs?
We’re in a weird time but hopefully one day people will get to see The Teddies, the play about 20th century Muscular Christianity I’m working on with Steep Theater here in Chicago. I’m also developing a play about everyone’s favorite billionaire Jeff Bezos called Bezos N’ Me. And I’m working on a site-specific theater project for the quarantine-age called “Walkables” where you go to a specific location, put on your headphones and listen to a recorded theater performance that guides you on a specific path. For that and everything else please go to my website patrick-vermillion.com or peep me on New Play Exchange. Thank you!