- An actor for writers, a writer for actors and a director for both

I've been writing for a long time. I once used an ancient and primitive machine called a "typewriter!"




"Craig Calman's unique style, larger than life characters and crisp, witty, insightful dialogue evokes thought provoking hilarity. His writing is unpredictable, structurally sound and a gift to the art. I recommend his work without reservation."

-Sal Romeo, Artistic Director

Friends & Artists Theatre, Los Angeles



I love so many genres and have written works in quite a variety:

The first play I wrote and directed was in high school entitled "Generation Reformation" and the performances were enthusiastically received. Encouraged by my tenth grade English teacher, Mrs. Dorothy Sprungman, bless her, I also wrote film scripts for my 8mm and Super 8mm cameras and then cast, directed, edited and screened the results for my high school classes to resounding success. My documentary "THE CANYON" was a Finalist in the Teenage Kodak Movie Awards and I was written up in the local newspapers as an up and coming film maker.

While in Mexico I filmed yards and yards of footage and when I returned to the States I edited it all together, wrote a script, narrated it and "LAS TRES CULTURAS DE MEXICO" was a major factor in my admission to the UCLA Motion Picture/ Television Department.

My first feature length screenplay created while at UCLA is "FROGS & LOVERS" a Ruritanian romp for children of all ages.

"MOURNING DOVES" is a contemporary and realistic screen drama which I gave to the legendary BETTE DAVIS. She read it and wrote me a lovely, inspirational three page handwritten letter including:

I envisioned the lead roles to be played by Ms. Davis and John Huston, to whom I was also able to send the script. Despite great praise the project was never made. But I was only in my early 20s and this enthusiasm from two of Hollywood's greatest encouraged me to continue writing.


After film school I focused on writing for the stage. I have attended several playwrighting workshops over the years including Craig Noel's Old Globe Theatre in San Diego; Miguel Pinero's workshop at Ralph Waite's The Los Angeles Actors Theater; Ed Bullins' workshop at The Public Theater, New York City; the 78th Street Theatre Lab, New York City; and The Playwright/Director Unit at The Actors Studio West headed by Director Mark Rydell and Playwright Lyle Kessler.

Ralph Waite's Los Angeles Actors Theatre, located in a seamy section of Hollywood, produced vibrant and passionate theatre in the late '70s. I was a member of the Playwright Workshop there for six months in 1977 where I got to know the notorious playwright Miguel ("Short Eyes") Pinero, producer extraordinaire Bill Bushnell, and very special actors Toni Sawyer and Fred Pinkard. Salome Jens, Richard Jordan, Dana Elcar and Donald Moffat contributed their talents to LAAT and the intense Philip Baker Hall offered his thespianic services in a memorable play reading of mine as well. My one-act "Benny & Hope" was chosen for their First Annual Festival of One Act Plays. Under the guidance of Bill Bushnell, LAAT expanded to become The Los Angeles Theatre Center, a Los Angeles cultural landmark.







"The Turn of the Century"

"Strangled Nocturne"

"Life Without Father"

"Patterns Woven In A Park"

"Skidoo Ruins"



"In Concert"


"Icy Waters"

"Malagasy Figs"


"Longing Lodge"

"Grandfather's Amber Locket"

"Golden Hair"





"Frogs & Lovers"

"Mourning Doves"

"The Turn Of The Century"

"Strangled Nocturne"

"Skidoo Ruins"



The Turn Of The Century



"THE TURN OF THE CENTURY" is a mysterious comedy about greed and generosity, pretense and honesty, stardom, curiosity, sanity, obsessions, valiant sacrifices and dark and venal doings. You may yet discover other themes lurking behind the secret panels or within the Victorian shadows of the legendary Winceworth House. Young LIVVY did, when she innocently entered the portals of a strange and eccentric household.

The time is shortly before New Year's Eve 1900 and a centennial celebration of another sort is about to take place. The surviving relatives are all in attendance for the inter vivos reading of the will and the 100th birthday of LADY EULALIA WINCEWORTH, venerable actress of the Shakespearean stage who is soon to play the greatest performance of her career.

But the celebrations are marred by MURDER. Was it greet which left the Right Reverend Archibald W. Winceworth sprawled out on the polo field with a broken neck? Or was it revenge that sent Cousin Melvin hurtling to his premature demise from the third story bedroom window onto the mimosa below? What about the other foul deeds that have this small California town in an uproar?

Question the wild-eyed MAJOR-GENERAL fresh from the African War. Question the suspiciously temperamental cabaret singer ROXANNE and her slippery lover PIERRE. Question the wistful WISTERIA, whose hold on reality appears to be as quirky as her delicate demeanor. Question LADY WINCEWORTH herself if you dare. Enter the heart of the mystery -- knock upon the spellbinding door to imagination and truth and discovery what really happened at The Turn Of The Century.





Dallas Theatre Center:

"Marvelously eccentric yet believable characters. A good tortuous plot. The author very skillfully maintains a comic form throughout the whole play...writing shows a lot of imagination and energy."

-Eleanor Lindsay, New Play Development

Goodman Theatre, Chicago:

"Hilarious, outrageous first-class spoof -- a ripping good night at the theatre. The writer has crafted his own world and filled it with ordered and hilarious chaos."

-Literary Department

Pennsylvania Stage Company:

"This is the best I have read in a long time. It's funny, lighthearted, not sentimental, fun to read. The dialogue is endearing, the plot is new. The characters are well written, the story line is quick, never drawn out, never boring."

-Literary Department


International Creative Management, New York, NY:

"I am quite impressed. You are extremely talented."

-Audrey Wood,

Tennessee Williams's long-time literary agent


"The Turn Of The Century" was a selection of The Old Globe Theatre's Play Discovery Project performed with Kelsey Grammer. Other highly successful staged readings include The Actors Studio West and The Marquis Theatre, New York City.


Two Play versions: one or two sets, five males, six females

Feature length screenplay available


MARTHA SCOTT (1914-2003) encouraged me greatly. Broadway Star, movie actress and theatrical producer of The Plumstead Theatre Society, she was dedicated to American plays new and classic. Ms. Scott was especially keen on "THE TURN OF THE CENTURY" and wrote a wonderful letter of recommendation for me.

"When I discover a writer as gifted as Craig Calman, I know it is a special occasion."


Other responses to "THE TURN OF THE CENTURY":

"Outrageous, fascinating and bizarre."

-Jessica Tandy

"Clever boy!"

-Estelle Winwood, age 100

"I like this play very much. Craig Calman is a very talented writer. 'The Turn Of The Century' has every chance of being a great success."

-Bette Davis

"'The Turn Of The Century screenplay is very interesting and very well written."

-Robert Wise, Director

("The Sound of Music" etc.)


"STRANGLED NOCTURNE" is a tale of wild passions, repressed yearnings and hidden crimes. It is based upon factual history. The aboriginal culture which flourished on the Fiji Islands before the Second World War was shocking and barbaric, even by Western standards. Cannibalism was the order of the day, and savage attacks upon the White settlers were not uncommon.

Amorality East and West collide one night in 1925 at the island bungalow of DR. RAVEN, reluctant recipient of an intimate party honoring his final night on the islands. His native houseboy EUGENE welcomes the guests: FATHER HEWITT, a young and inexperienced missionary; MIRIAM BENSON, a loud pink woman with large appetites; her dark, mysterious half-caste daughter LENORE and the reclusive, enigmatic CONSTANCE CORNETTE, whose unexpected arrival ignites the drama and propels the characters into a nightmare of confession, guilt and horrid revelations.

Staged reading by Danny Glover's Robey Theatre Company, Los Angeles directed by the fabulous Bennet Guillory.






"It's a wonderfully-written piece, exotic and dramatic, with rich language and complex characters."

-Simon Levy,

Producing Director/Dramaturg


ARENA STAGE, Washington, D.C.:

"I am impressed with the ambition of Craig Calman's themes and his ability to take the reader to exotic places and times."

-Lloyd Rose, Literary Manager



"Fascinating and deals with profound themes."

-Angela Paton, Artistic Director



"Very well written: Craig Calman sets up mood well and his characters and dialogue are believable."

-Theodore Mann, Artistic Director



"The literary staff found much to admire in Craig Calman's in-depth study of evil as man's undoing."

-Lynn M. Thomson, Dramaturg/Literary Manager



The plot and characterizations are very interesting. The script is ready for production."

-Martha Goodman, Coordinator, Play Committee



"I am impressed, indeed, by this play."

-Arthur Ballet, Director



"An exciting drama reminiscent of Strindberg."

-Scott Feldsher, Literary Manager




"LIFE WITHOUT FATHER" is a sociopolitical fantasy about the first woman to run for the U.S. Presidency. Her opponent is her own daughter. Considering that the star of a 1952 Hollywood comedy called "Bedtime For Bonzo" managed to become our nation's leader once upon a time, not to mention our other Presidential escapades past and present, the scenario for this comedy is not too terribly far-fetched.

Set several election years from now, when mass hysteria and social chaos have become even more commonplace, to the point where it is continually interrupting the television broadcasts of MOTHER's beloved soap operas, this supremely wealthy and socially prominent widow has reached the end of her velvet rope. Not only is society in disarray, but MOTHER is unable to control the chaos of her own household or even keep hold of a lover for any appreciable length of time, so she decides to run for President Of The United States.

Horrified at this prospect, her troubled daughter CYNTHIA, esoteric seeker after Truth, decides to run against her. Thus begins the greatest political battle of The New Millennium. Mother's ex-housekeeper and now best-selling tell-all author MANZANITA PITTSTOP SHELLFISH runs CYNTHIA's campaign, while MOTHER is aided by ROLLO DERBY, an upwardly mobile African-American roller-skate salesman, along with handsome stud CHAD DIMPLE, former Senate messenger boy and frequenter of disreputable polling places. The beloved man without a country DR. HAMPSTEAD VERST rounds out the cast, who roller-skate their merry way through several years of American social and political upheavals.






"This political turn is refreshing and dramatic....It is a 20th Century Herstory in a series of surrealistic 'coups de theatre'....The plot turns, characters and style parodies are very funny and the stage directions are usually hilarious."

-Stephen Weinstock, Literary Department



"Very funny, well written and fast paced."

-Philip S. Menges, III, Literary Agent



"Craig Calman has a definite flair for comedy writing and eccentric characters."

-Jeremy Ritzer, Partner



"Poignant and timely. Craig Calman has created an original world with rich and unique characters."

-Amy Levinson, Literary Associate



"'Life Without Father' creates one of the most unusual family portraits I've encountered....the play rides a thin line between absurdity and hysteria....The scenes by themselves are delightful."

-Jessica Teich, Literary Manager



"I think it's very good -- reminiscent of Kopit at his best....a zany, insubordinate play."

-Donn Gunn, Manager



"An original and vibrant comedy."

-Ruth Little, Literary Office



"A very funny, one might say perverse, comedy."

-Scott Feldsher, Associate Director/Dramaturg

Staged readings at Actors Studio West and by Women-In-Theatre.


"SKIDOO RUINS" is a Rip Van Winkle fable of two World War II veterans who go off to modern day Hollywood. This is a comedy in the style of the classic Hal Roach comedies of the 1930s.

This colorful tale told in high good spirits concerns a bunch of ambitious low-lifes who dream of success in the brave "new" world of rock music videos. Two old pals, World War II veterans POTTLE and LEER decide to venture out into the modern world -- and they find themselves getting up-to-date in a flash. Egged on by POTTLE's newfound girlfriend RUBY, a nightclub singer with a passion for Glamour with a capital "G" and her shifty associate MR. BUMPS, a man with a past that stretches into the Dark Ages, these characters connive and wrangle their way into the fast-track world of Hollywood. Or so they think.

Attempting to produce a rock music video version of the silent screen classic "Greed," these nuts, along with their star attraction PEPITO PANDEMONIO POPOTE (the New Millennium's answer to Rudolph Valentino or a demented version of a member of 'Menudo'?) and SERGEANT BARRY FITZGERALD O'ROARKE O'MALLEY, rogue cop extraordinaire, travel to location at Skidoo Ruins, a parched outpost in the Death Valley desert.

In this seeming wasteland our heroes encounter the mad genius-hermit UNCLE MORDECAI, spiritualist, shaman and philosopher, a far from bitter outcast of Hollywood, Broadway and the culture capitals of the world. With the aid of this divine desert rat, our heroes come to see the true status of their American republic early in the 21st century; they come to grips with the Zen of Video; they discover the undying spirit of Eternal Hollywood. Why, they even comprehend the meaning of the Cosmos. There's something for everyone in this charming script -- "a genre is born!"






"I was intrigued....Craig Calman's language, as always, is entertaining and artfully bold."

-Stephen Weeks, Literary Co-Manager



"Perhaps the most interesting play of yours we've read."

-Jessica Teich, Literary Manager



" was as though there had been an explosion in the Sam Shepard wing of the Museum of Theatrical Imagery and into the ruins there struggled these two guys, picking up bits and pieces of American cultural iconography, tossing them aside, shaking burnt fingers."

-Lawrence Santoro, Literary Manager/Dramaturg



"Craig Calman's writing is bright, quick and snappy. The piece really moves."

-Richard Polak, Managing and Artistic Director



"A spirited and ebullient comedy built around the notion of Hollywood as a powerful cultural beacon."

-Ruth Little, Literary Office



"This is Rip Van Winkle profanity!"

-Hal Roach, 1988 Motion Picture Pioneer, Producer from 1914
"Our Gang," Laurel & Hardy, etc.


Staged reading The Road Company, North Hollywood.


A wonderful staged reading of "SKIDOO RUINS" was given by First Stage Los Angeles on April 4, 2005. The above cast was directed by Bill White to a very appreciative audience. They are from left to right: Catherine Anne Hayes as Ruby, Jonathan Amaret as Pepito, Arnie Weiss as Uncle Mordecai, Bob Larkin as Pottle, Hawthorne James as Sergeant O'Malley, Herman Poppe as Leer and Lawrence Gaughan as Mr. Bumps.

June 27, 2005: Another reading of "SKIDOO RUINS" this time with the great Edward Asner as Leer, Charlie Robinson (far left) as Sgt. O'Malley and Joe Allen Price as Pottle. Yours truly played Mr. Bumps. Behind Cathie is Dan Roth, the Narrator/Announcer; to his left is director Bill White and to the far right is Arnie "Dutch" Weiss, a veritable walking encyclopedia of film and theatre.


Letter of recommendation from Edward Asner, July 29, 2006:

"I have performed in a staged reading of Craig Calman's play "SKIDOO RUINS" and have read the screenplay version. I have also read his play "LIFE WITHOUT FATHER" and am very impressed by his talent. Craig Calman has had many years experience as a working actor and knows how to create roles actors will find a joy to play. I am confident audiences will have a similar experience when his scripts are produced. I recommend his work without reservation."


"PATTERNS WOVEN IN A PARK" Three sets of couples meet in a park separately and unbeknownst to the others, at noon, late afternoon and midnight; all their lives are mysteriously intertwined.

The city park in which this play occurs is a haven for the weary traveler. It is a vast aviary where pigeons peck the ground for real and imaginary sustenance, where peacocks vainly strut and show off their dazzling plumage, where primitive, reptilian-like creatures wing their way to unknowable bourn....

"PATTERNS WOVEN IN A PARK" is composed of three interrelated scenes, each one taking place in the same secluded spot in this mythical sylvan oasis at different times of the day:

(1) "Icy Waters" begins at high noon, a nasty comical lunch shared by the old, terrified and cantankerous MR. LIPINSKY and his rather bizarre, porno-loving NURSE.

(2) "Malagasy Figs" transpires in the late afternoon, an impressionistic pre- or even post-1939 interlude with a shabby GENTLEMAN and a careworn LADY.

(3) "Pterodactyl Soup" concludes at midnight, a bewitching encounter between a romantic, freewheeling bachelor (or is it hermit?) and a purple-clad culinary coquette.






"Pulling the stories together with a common thread the writer keeps things interesting, building his stories with expert skill before making their connection known to the reader."

-Megan Brown, Literary Associate


CAST THEATRE, Los Angeles:

"Beautifully written."

-Diana Gibson, Literary Manager



"Haunting and provocative."

-Jessica Teich, Literary Manager



"This play may be brilliant, I am afraid to deal in superlatives. The playwright has a facility with words that is most uncommon. Verbal imagery delivered in a playful, tantalizing flair. 'Patterns Woven In A Park' is all of life in three acts: the dreams, defeats, depressions, despairs, presented in allegorical form with satirical yet humorous overtones."

-Suzy Rau, Literary Department



"Most ambitious and formally adventurous."

-Ruth Little, Literary Office



"Engrossing and well written."

-Shirley Sutles, Literary Manager



In 1995 I entered the new on-line world when I was hired as a columnist for the Internet cinema magazine "FilmZone."

In my monthly column "Relix Update" I wrote about the re-discoveries, restorations and re-releases of classic movies from the earliest days of the 1890s to the restoration of "Star Wars." I also revealed the efforts of film schools, museums and motion picture studios to rescue movies that were deteriorating over time.


Although "FilmZone" was voted one of the Ten Best Movie Websites of 1995 by "Entertainment Weekly" magazine, it was gone within two years.

But it was serendipitous timing for me as 1995 marked the 100th anniversary of the first commercial public showing of motion pictures in the world. (That occurred in Paris in April 1895.) What better way to commemorate this milestone than to be writing a film column? And at this time I had the good fortune to meet the late great film historian, David Shipman, whose meticulously researched and entertainingly written works, including The Story Of Cinema and The Great Movie Stars (in three volumes) are must-reads for every film lover.


As a playwright myself, it was quite an experience to portray William Shakespeare as interpreted by George Bernard Shaw in his "DARK LADY OF THE SONNETS"

Off-off Broadway, 1981

"Craig David Calman as the funny and outspoken Shakespeare...turned in a comic virtuoso performance."

-Edward Rubin, Backstage New York


A few centuries later Anton Chekhov added his genius to theatrical literature and I was privileged to portray him in "THE GOOD DOCTOR" by a successful 20th century playwright, Neil ("Doc") Simon.

Marquis Public Theatre, 1979

"Craig Calman's performance as 'The Good Doctor,' Chekhov himself, was continuously compelling, his comedic timing well paced and his understanding of the character's gentle, ironic humanity clear."

-Milton Savage, The San Diego Union


"The Writer was smartly played by Craig Calman with a sense of timing that both Simon and Chekhov would appreciate."

-Frances L. Bardacke, San Diego Magazine


In June 2000 I was invited to join The Actors Studio West Playwright/Director Unit headed by Mark Rydell and Lyle Kessler. To date I have had five staged readings of my works presented under their auspices.




"The playwright is that person who charts the course and maps out the path for us to begin the journey and tell the story. Craig's strong ability in this area is informed by his talent as an actor, thereby gaining important insight into what the director and actor may contribute to his work....Mr. Calman has an acute talent in storytelling with a profound social consciousness. His work transcends the ordinary into something aesthetically exciting.

Mr. Calman's graceful contributions to the theatre are important. We in the community would do well to cultivate our artists, especially this one."

- Bennet Guillory, Artistic Director,



"I feel certain that once Craig David Calman is given an opportunity to reveal his abilities as a playwright, film maker, screenwriter and actor, he will be recognized by the industry as an exciting and enduring talent."

-Martha Scott, Executive Vice President



"The audience reaction to 'The Turn of the Century' was extremely favorable, his dialog is good, he has an understanding of the theatre and I am confident that if he continues in this field he will be successful. Because he is also an actor and has spent a good deal of time around the theatre, his scripts are professional and economically feasible to produce."

-Craig Noel, Executive Director

OLD GLOBE THEATRES, San Diego, California


"I am not normally a city bench frequenter on workaday afternoons. I maintain offices. Offices of philosophy most days of the week. It is to me a round-the-clock proposition. Something never to be taken lightly. Something requiring study and research. I maintain liaisons with all the higher centers of learning. I peruse every available shelf. I attend lectures, hearings and discussions. I am privy to decisions, councils and arbitrations of major importance. I do not shirk any obligation nor any nuance. I pride myself on my thoroughness. I am acknowledged for my thoroughness. I am esteemed for my thoroughness. I am a philosopher by reputation, riding on the banner of sober and unmitigated thoroughness."

-Shabby Gentleman, "MALAGASY FIGS"



My alter ego still uses a quill pen!



"I see the playwright as the lay preacher peddling the ideas of his time in popular form."

-August Strindberg

"In a play, time is arrested in the sense of being confined....The audience can sit back in a comforting dusk to watch a world which is flooded with light and in which emotion and action have a dimension and dignity that they would likewise have in real existence, if only the shattering intrusion of time could be locked out."

-Tennessee Williams

I had the great honor of meeting Tennessee Williams on February 25, 1977. It was at a small theater off Melrose and La Cienega. During intermission he asked me what I thought of the first act of "Two Character Play," another of the many rewrites he made of a fascinating and complex work. I remember the date because he died on February 25 six years later.


"There was no renaissance in the American theatre of the forties, but there was a certain balance within the audience -- a balance, one might call it, between the alienated and the conformists -- that gave sufficient support to the naked cry of the heart and, simultaneously, enough resistance to force it into a rhetoric that at one stroke could be broadly understandable and yet faithful to the pain that had pressed the author to speak."

-Arthur Miller

"Great drama is great questions or it is nothing but technique."



"[Writing] is a lonely business. The difficulty comes when you begin to think it isn't. It's not a social racket at all. It has nothing to do with conversation or criticism or even compliments. It has nothing to do with family or marriage or friends or associates or pleasures. It is and should be the most alone thing in the world. I guess that's why writers are hard to live with, impossible as friends and ridiculous as associates. A writer and his work is and should be like a surly dog with a bone, suspicious of everyone, trusting no one, loving no one. It's hard to justify such a life but that's the way it is if it is done well."

-John Steinbeck


"The dislike of the artist, the fear of the artist has been seen in every culture at every age. It's as if the one kind of person that power fears most is the person that nobody owns, the person whose voice doesn't stand for anybody except himself or herself. These voices that are simply themselves and represent no interest or interest group, represent no polemical tendency. They simply respond to the world as they see it and try to offer the most coherent vision of it that they can make. And that appears to terrify people."

-Salman Rushdie


"Sometimes the public makes a mistake about what artists think of the society they're in even when they're criticizing it. Because I think it is an aspect of celebration. It is an aspect of love to be undeceived and I think it's one of the things that artists do out of love."



"I am a comedian, not a liar. I can afford the luxury of telling the truth."

-Albert Brooks


"Words are sacred. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones in the right order, you can nudge the world a little."

-Tom Stoppard


"A writer never has a vacation. For a writer life consists of either writing or thinking about writing."

-Eugene Ionesco


"A work of art is above all an adventure of the mind; it is the creation of an autonomous world introduced into our world from fundamental truths -- which are those we find in dream and imagination."



"The true writer must write not the acceptable but the true."

-David Mamet


"And there are an unorganized few...the immense minority...who sincerely love the arts. There are those for whom reading, for example, can be an act of love, and lead to a revelation, not of truth, moral or otherwise, but of lucidity, order, rightness of relation, the experience of a world fully felt and furnished and worked out in the head, the head where the heart is also to be found, and all the other vital organs."

-William H. Gass

"The Test of Time"


"The trivial is as important as the important when looked at importantly....Even a wasted life is priceless when composed properly or hymned aright."



"The world likes humor, but it treats it patronizingly. It decorates its serious artists with laurel, and its wags with Brussels sprouts. It feels that if a thing is funny it can be presumed to be something less than great, because if it were truly great it would be wholly serious. "

-E.B. White


"Intelligence is so damn rare and the people who have it often have such a bad time with it that they get bitter or propagandistic and then it's not much use."

-Ernest Hemingway


"I divide all works into two classes: those I like and those I don't."

-Anton Chekhov


"As we begin the third millennium, at just this moment in our expiring high culture, the polemic against genius has achieved the prevalence of a pernicious ideology."

-Harold Bloom


"Goethe urged the new, strong writer to have the persistence, will and self-abnegation to acquaint himself thoroughly with the tradition while retaining enough strength and courage to develop his original nature independently and to treat the divers assimilated elements in his own way."



"The ultimate tragedy is not the brutality of the bad people, but the silence of the good people."

-Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.


"If there's a human race here in 100 years, and you know, it's a toss up, it'll be our sense of humor which may save us."

-Pete Seeger

November 2005


"I think we never become really and genuinely our entire and honest selves until we are dead -- and not then until we have been dead years and years. People ought to start dead, and then they would be honest so much earlier."

-Mark Twain




Writer at work


"How to Hamstring a Playwright:

"We continue to subsist on that good old realistic dialogue that the small minds in the theater value as gold....The words of illumination, the dangerous cadences, most certainly the poetry, have fallen helplessly into the stage manager's wastebasket as the playwright ruminates on the comment made at one of his/her first public readings: 'Your characters don't talk like real people. At least not like anyone I know.'

Dutifully, the playwright scribbles this comment on a legal pad and that is that. Another new voice is slaughtered. Another mad writer tamed."

-Steven Dietz

The Los Angeles Times/Calendar


"In our time people are terribly frightened of freedom and humor. They don't seem to realize that there is no life possible without these qualities. In that sense the theatre is a supreme game: it is free action, and in it one must find a living language, not the language of realism but one that is based on the marvelous, fabled world, which has far greater reality than the so-called real world."

-Eugene Ionesco


As a playwright who deals in zaniness, poetry, madness and history, I have, alas, encountered the stultifying attitudes described above all too often in my quest to bring my quirky plays to vivid life.



Of what value are the scribblings and musings of a solitary individual, that pathetic drop in the vast ocean of humanity? Edmund Wilson felt it important to quote Katherine Anne Porter's answer to that question, and so do I. Mr. Wilson calls the following "the manifesto of the builder of this solid little sanctuary [Ms. Porter's writings] so beautifully proportioned and finished, for the queer uncontrollable spirit that it seems to her important to save."


"In the face of such shape and weight of present misfortune [she was writing this in the midst of World War II], the voice of the individual artist may seem perhaps of no more consequence than the whirring of a cricket in the grass, but the arts do live continuously, and they live literally by faith; their names and their shapes and their uses and their basic meanings survive unchanged in all that matters through times of interruption, diminishment, neglect; they outlive governments and creeds and societies, even the very civilizations that produce them. They cannot be destroyed altogether because they represent the substance of faith and the only reality. They are what we find again when the ruins are cleared away. And even the smallest and most incomplete offering at this time can be a proud act in defense of that faith."

-Katherine Anne Porter, 1944


"None of us would ever have had careers without the writers. No way. And no one would have run a studio without the writers, and no director would be famous without writers. They are the beginners, the originators."

-Bette Davis, 1971






Hodge Podge