Justin Aaron Halle
A Jock, a Cheerleader, a Nice Guy, a Stoner, a Virgin, and a Token Minority walk into a room… In a genre-bending exploration of tropes and identity, Horror Play asks, who will come out alive?
Justin Aaron Halle is a queer, Jewy, and New York-based playwright and pansy. Their plays include Case Studies: A New Kinsey Report (Exponential Fest and The Brick), Cowgirl (Columbia @ Roundabout Prize Finalist), and Delaware, Come Home (Lucille Lortel, published in Best of Red Bull Theater’s Short New Plays). Justin’s monologue “Judy New Year” was recently published in WE/US: Monologues for the Gender Minority (Smith & Kraus) and their MFA thesis play, a gay-ass meditation on masculinity, mysticism and the Old Testament called Vile Isle, was performed at Columbia University under the mentorship of Jen Silverman.
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?
Before I wrote plays I fancied myself an actor, but realized it was much more fun to write my own material. This is around the same time I started performing in drag (please welcome to the stage Judy Ism), and I loved writing myself devious little monologues that started in grounded reality before they spiraled out into something more heightened, theatrical, draggy.
2. How did you come to write your OOB play? Was there a particular inspiration behind its creation? How has it developed?
I’ve always wanted to write horror theater but it’s very difficult to do. I don’t think I’ve accomplished it in this play, but I do think I’ve stumbled upon something interesting about tropes and identity in the horror movie genre, and turned that into something theatrical and funny and maybe a little spooky.
3. What are 5 words that describe who you are as a playwright?
Irreverent, percussive, precocious, genderful, Virgo-Libra-cusp.
4. What/who are some of the major influences on your writing?
Harry Kondoleon, Adrienne Kennedy, drag, Jews, the form and structure of classical music and also cats (animal, not musical).
5. What’s one fact someone would never guess about you?
My social security number is [redacted].
6. What are some of your favorite plays?
Right now I’m obsessed with everything Jen Silverman as well as Harry Kondoleon’s “Self Torture and Strenuous Exercise” which is a killer title for a play.
7. Any new projects you’re working on or shameless plugs?
I’m writing a play about Johannes Brahms and how he may or may not have been a huge slut, stay tuned for Slutty Brahms.