Friday, January 13, 2017
Spotlight On...Lawrence Dial
Hometown: Newburgh (Evansville), Indiana
Education: The Evansville Mafia (University of Evansville)
Favorite Credits: In the Room, produced by Slant Theatre Project, Kelli Giddish, in Association with Wheelhouse Theater Company
Why theater?: Why not? No one can tell you not to do theater; all you need is a writer and some actors, and it can better than anything on TV or in the cinemas.
Tell us about DANNYKRISDONNAVERONICA: DKDV is a play I wrote after my second daughter’s birth, entirely during nap-times, in daily 60 minute increments. It’s about two couples, both with two children each; two of the spouses embark of the beginnings of new friendship, an emotional affair. The play is about where that friendship leads, and the ephemeral qualities of life we all need that can’t always be given to us by our spouses.
What inspired you to write DANNYKRISDONNAVERONICA?: I was curious to explore the conflicting feelings I was having at the time; the beauty of parenthood, and the emotional struggle of the stay-at-home spouse, who in many ways is forced to dramatically abandon the life they previously lived in favor of their new responsibilities. The working spouse has his/her own struggle with the time they’re allotted to bond and connect with their children, while also taking on the emotional stress of being the family bread-winner. Parenthood is tough, but also the most rewarding I’ve ever done…by a long shot. When you give up pursuing your personal (possibly farfetched) dreams and devote yourself to caring for another individual, what’s left of your own personality? Who are you? DKDV explores these questions…
What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: For the most part it can be anything. When the lights go down, no matter the production or playwright, big or small, I’m always rooting for you with a smile on my face. It’s hard for me to dislike a piece of theater. Don’t we realize it’s all just opinion and personal taste and perspective? I always see the creators’ hopes and dreams in their plays. I wouldn’t look you in the eye and tell you that’s bullshit. Anyone pursing theater, especially after a sustained amount of years, inspires me. Theatre is an awful, awful, deeply rewarding profession… If you’re lucky enough. I’m beyond thinking it’s about talent anymore, because talent is everywhere I look, and I suspect that behind every successful artist there’s a moment of nepotism that propelled that artist’s talent. You gotta be lucky…
If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: I still have friends I want to work with! Let alone theater celebrities (who I don’t care too much about). To be honest, once a certain level of success reaches an artist, and some of their struggle to be recognized lifts, the ego that follows is almost universal. (Because!) once we achieve that success we want to believe it’s based on talent and perseverance, and it is, but it’s also based on unforeseen circumstances as well. Strange Alchemy. Luck. So I think the ego happens because no one who’s successful likes to admit that without that one lucky thing that happened that one lucky time, they might still be struggling today or have given up long ago. For this reason, successful artist are often the ones who believe the most in talent. So while there are great big theater celebrities I’d love to be in collaboration with, they’re not necessarily creating better Art than my friends, especially considering the money, time, and resources they’ve been given. I’ll take my friends…
What show have you recommended to your friends?: My own! DKDV! Everyone’s busy, come see my work, and then we’ll talk about all the other good stuff we’ve seen!
Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: Paul Rudd, the Paul Rudd story, by Lawrence Dial.
If you could go back in time and see any play or musical you missed, what would it be?: Any August Wilson play; any Sam Shepard play from the 80’s—not picky. So much great theater. In fact, I wouldn’t be opposed to seeing that U of E production of Norman’s Getting Out from way back in 96 that originally got me into theater.
What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: Late night munchies with my wife on the couch, rubbing her feet, watching who-cares-what on the couch… Or just playing with my kids and not doing the chores.
If you weren’t working in theater, you would be?: Right now, I think I’d live somewhere outside of New York, I’d open a climbing wall/gym, and exercise and climb and run that business every day.
What’s up next?: Rest sleep. Sex at Dawn…