Great Interview with Annie Baker on HowlRound

There’s a fantastic Annie Baker interview by Hal Brooks up on HowlRound that presents a dilemma in that I basically want to copy and the paste the whole thing.

Some of my favorite quotes:

I try to free my students from the notion that there is one way to write to play and they have to conform their impulses and ideas to this conventional watered-down half-Aristotelian half-lame-o Hollywood structure. That is like the worst mistake a young playwright can make. I know because I made that mistake and I had a couple of teachers in the past who were obsessed with rules because I think the idea that art is mystical and there might not be a formula drove them absolutely crazy and made them feel like they had no control over their careers.

And this one:

Mac Wellman once said that there is a secret to being a great writer, but nobody wants to hear it. The secret, Mac said, is that the greatest writers are just the most well-read. For some reason that really freaks people out.

And one of several thoughts in response to the question “What are your hopes for the American Theater?”:

That we look to the contemporary art world and figure out why little old ladies are willing to go to the museums and stare at obscene paintings and abstract light installations and feel okay with the shock of the new (is it because there are plaques on the wall explaining things? and audio tour guides?), but then when the very same little old ladies go to the theater they freak out if a silence lasts more than two seconds.

Plus stuff about new play development and Soho Rep and Dan LeFranc’s play The Big Meal and so much more.

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