Bonus mini-interview with Harrison David Rivers

We published a longer interview with Core Writer Harrison David Rivers earlier this season, before his Ruth Easton New Play Series workshop. Here’s a bonus mini-interview with this thoughtful and poetic writer:

What was the first book you ever loved?

I loved three books in junior high school: Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison, Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow and Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. I think I was drawn to their epic-ness, to their social, political, emotional and geographic scope. And on a wholly superficial note, I loved that they were BIG books, thick and heavy and impressive-looking.

What is your favorite line from a play?

I narrowed it down to three.

“…You goat fucker, you love of my life…” –Stevie, from Edward Albee’s The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?

“I hate America, Louis. I hate this country. Nothing but a bunch of big ideas and stories and people dying, and then people like you. The white cracker who wrote the National Anthem knew what he was doing. He set the word free to a note so high nobody could reach it. That was deliberate.” –Belize, from Tony Kushner’s Angels in America

“This is what it is to love an artist: The moon is always rising above your house. The houses of your neighbors look dull and lacking in moonlight. But he is always going away from you. Inside his head, there is always something more beautiful.” –Eurydice, from Sarah Ruhl’s Eurydice

Your play The Sea & The Stars, which was part of the 2016-17 Ruth Easton New Play Series, had some very memorable karaoke numbers. What’s your go-to karaoke song?

I actually hate karaoke. What’s the phrase, “with the fire of ten thousand suns?” I don’t mind it so much in the context of something else – in a play, for example – but if I were to find myself in a karaoke bar in real life, I’d be the one cowering in the corner. THAT SAID – I did win a karaoke contest once. My song? “Rainbow Connection” from The Muppet Movie.


Harrison David Rivers