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I really appreciate Playscripts and their work toward creating better theater and theater experiences for all. Jay Muldoon Theater Teacher, Fairfield, OH
General Information
5 Questions for A. Rey Pamatmat

Every year The Waterwell Drama Program at Professional Performing Arts School in New York City works with a professional playwright to create a new play with teenage actors.  This unique incubator created Nothing is the End of the World (except for the end of the world) by Bekah Brunstetter, Emma by Stephen Karam, and most recently A Spare Me by A. Rey Pamatmat.

What was the most exciting part of creating new work with teenagers?

The most exciting part of it was how into it they were that I had written parts specifically for them, and how meaningful the central metaphor was to them. The inspiration for A Spare Me is that adolescent moment where you wake up and your body has completely changed: it feels different, you’re not sure how to use these limbs that are suddenly so long, there’s hair in weird places, it smells different… And then you realize that your brain isn’t working the same way either. The only difference is that in the world of this play, the characters literally have different bodies: cloned spare bodies. Despite the sci-fi bent, the students at PPAS really identified with and were intrigued by this idea. That was a thrill for me.

How did you first get involved with theater?

Like a lot of kids in the middle-of-nowhere Michigan, I started out acting in community theatre. My first big role was Eeyore in The House at Pooh Corner.

How often do you write? Where do you like to write?

I write almost daily, and usually in a public place like a café or writers’ room. I’ve been trying to write from home more often, though, but the background hum of public places helps me focus.

Who are your playwriting heroes?

There are so many, and I don’t really write like any of them. Tony Kushner, Maria Irene Fornes, August Wilson, and Craig Lucas are playwrights I go back to all the time. But so many writers are doing such amazing things right now that I’m not completely comfortable saying they’re my favorites or heroes.

Any advice for playwrights just starting out?

The most important thing for playwrights starting out — artistically and professionally — is to find your people. Whether that’s a writers lab, a group of actors, a theatre company, or the co-workers at your survival job, they will keep you alive and help you stay interested in your craft when no one else is. I have a long way to go as an artist and a professional, but I never could have gotten as far as I did without the Ma-Yi Writers Lab, The Lark, my YSD family, all the actors I write for over and over again, and all the other playwrights who share and exchange early sketches and drafts with me even when it’s garbage. I have them to thank for everything.

–A. Rey Pamatmat

A. Rey Pamatmat’s new play after all the terrible things I do will have its world premiere at the Milwaukee Repertory Theater in September 2014. Mr. Pamatmat was the ’12/’13 Hodder Fellow in Playwriting and the ’11/’12 PoNY Fellow. His play Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them premiered at the Humana Festival, was produced nationwide, received the Steinberg/ATCA New Play Citation, and was nominated for 2013 GLAAD Media and Lambda Literary Awards… MORE>


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