The Pros and Cons of Implosion


R.D. Murphy



Allie is a whip-smart, mechanically inclined high school senior who is a car whisperer. She wants to restore her neighbor’s Volvo which has been left to rest for 20 years. Simple plan, right? Recalculation!




R. D. Murphy is a member of Actors’ Equity Association and the Screen Actors Guild and has performed on New England stages for over 25 years. R.D. was named a Massachusetts Cultural Council Fellow in Dramatic Writing in 2015. Three of his scripts: Pros and Cons of Implosion; Glenda Jackson in a Bodega (I Am Not); and Scrapgoat have been produced in the annual Boston Theatre Marathon and Glenda Jackson was published in the BTM XXII Anthology. That Thing You Do With Your Tongue and Bollywood Ending have been published in Smith & Kraus Best 10-Minute Plays anthologies. In 2019, under the auspices YASPLZ LLC, R.D. co-produced and performed in a festival version of Noir Hamlet by John Minigan at the 2019 Edinburgh Festival Fringe. R.D. has served on the executive boards of Boston’s Theatre Community Benevolent Fund and STAGESOURCE. Contact [email protected]



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


For about 10 years straddling the turn of this century, I spent a great deal of time reading for the graduate playwriting classes at Boston Playwrights’ Theater (Boston University) where I absorbed the teachings of Derek Walcott, Kate Snodgrass, and Melinda Lopez among others. I was also reading for assorted playwright groups including RHOMBUS and WRITE ON and came to recognize (1) when a page or scene has traction or engages and (2) that I had a knack for dialogue. Eventually I began bringing my own scripts to these groups.


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


(1) On the 20th anniversary of 9/11, I volunteered for an open house at our local First Responder Team who was one of the first out-of-state teams to arrive at the site of the World Trade Center. The Responders’ home base was a former Nike Missile site decommissioned in the late 70s. The silos were open for inspection. Today the base houses all the rescue equipment and vehicles and is used to train search and rescue dogs, a schooling that includes a huge onsite stack of industrial scraps in which the dogs must find hidden “victims.” The dogs were an audience favorite. Between the silos and the dogs, there was a disorienting atmosphere to this event. Some kind of county fair from an unknown county. Many came because they felt they should go someplace but not sure where. Even more striking was how many of the attendees had not been born at the time of 9/11.


(2) I spent last summer cycling with a friend who is a car buff and talks endlessly about swapping out engines, replacing wire harnesses, and restoring interiors. Endlessly.


(3) A 9-10-2021 article appeared on the front page of The Boston Globe. Look it up.


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


Dialogue. Laughs. Now dig deeper.


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


Caryl Churchill


Lucas Hnath

His Girl Friday

Tracy Letts (as playwright and actor)


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


Attended a Jesuit military school for boys. (James Joyce is spinning in his grave.)  Xavier High School at 30 West 16th Street in NYC.


6. What are some of your favorite plays?


Vietgone, The Nether, Little Foxes, Angels In America, Travesties, Tartuffe, August: Osage County, Red Speedo, Cloud Nine, Our Town


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


My latest script: a 10-minute play that is the first scene of Princess School For Husbands. Or Not. A decade ago, Jamie was one of the original influencers, now he’s a venture capitalist looking to invest in the online creator economy. In his sights: PRINCESSLIFE, a widely followed and, immensely popular Birthday Party Princess. He has booked PRINCESS to meet with his funding board today at noon. His wife PENNY has booked PRINCESS to perform for their son’s birthday. Today at noon. Somebody’s going to get schooled. Oh yeah, it’s written in verse. (Pace, Richard Wilbur.)