PlayLabs 2017 interview: Jason Gray Platt

PlayLabs 2017 features three new plays, including Core Writer Jason Gray Platt’s Take Care. Readings are Tuesday, October 24, at 7 p.m. and Saturday, October 28, at 1 p.m. Reserve your tickets here. We talked with Jason about the themes of his work and his playwriting inspirations.

What kind of stories have you been interested in writing recently? Do you know why you are drawn to them?

Looking back, I realize that I have been writing stories in which characters are confronting the enormity and pace of the change they find themselves living within. Change that is social, political, technological. This struggle has become especially poignant because in contemporary society "change" is no longer a transitional space, but a permanent one. There will be no more eras of extended equilibrium. Speed has triumphed over stability.

Where is your favorite place to write?

At a desk in a quiet room with a closed door. The quiet room is a must. The closed door is bonus. Trust me, though - it's for everyone's benefit.

How does form influence content in your work?

It's the other way around, really. I find that every story or experience calls for a particular frame or form. Once a form is decided on they of course feed back into one another and the influence becomes cyclical, and hopefully clarifying. The beginning is always the story, though.

What was the hardest thing about writing your last play?

Allowing myself to laugh.

Finish this sentence: If I weren’t a playwright I would be…

An attorney. No, neurologist. Or baker?

What artists inspire you and why?

Caryl Churchill, Tony Kushner, Suzan-Lori Parks, Martin Crimp (to restrict it to living playwrights). They all have the ability to blend the bold gesture with the intimate tale, the political with the personal, the experimental with the familiar. Those are recipes for great work.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

If you keep making that face it'll stick like that.

What is something you’ve never seen on stage but you would like to?

The set burning down (safely).

Jason Gray Platt