Name: Drew Larimore
Hometown: Louisville, KY
Education: B.A. Emerson College
Why theater?: Honestly, it's the only medium that electrifies me, terrifies me, stymies me, inspires me; it's the closest thing to magic I've been able to find on Planet Earth. Also, it's one of the few places language is really heard.
Tell us about Smithtown: Smithtown is about four characters in a small Midwestern town interconnected through a local tragedy. As the play unfolds, one by one we see how each of them had a hand – directly or indirectly — in the death of a local college student and how they struggle with that responsibility.
What inspired you to write Smithtown?: I'm fascinated with the link between technology and shared responsibility. Ian Bernstein opens the play (perfectly played by Michael Urie) and asks the question: ‘Whose fault is it – all the dominoes in a row or a select few?’ I don't have an answer. And mining that was part of why I wrote this play.
What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: Bizarre yet accessible plays that make it into the mainstream, that really break through and become a part of the zeitgeist. Albee, anyone?
How have you stayed creatively active during COVID?: Thankfully, I've been keeping busy. I have a few new musicals I've been remotely working on with composers/collaborators. And I'm working on a trilogy of edgy new Southern plays. And some stuff for the screen.
If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: Margo Martindale.
Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: The sequel to Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown starring a hologram of Bea Arthur.
If you could go back in time and see any play or musical you missed, what would it be?: The original Sweeney Todd or Uta Hagen in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: Weight loss shows. Like, the 600-pound ones. I feel dumber after each episode, but I find it oddly comforting.
If you weren’t working in theater, you would be _____?: A diplomat.
What’s up next?: Two premieres. Boomeranged, a harrowing and irreverent play about gun violence, which I hope will star my muse Constance Shulman. And The Bestest Office Christmas Party Ever, a very adult, very wild new satirical musical about the sadness of the holidays, co-written with composer rock star Billy Recce!
For more on Drew, visit www.drewlarimore.com
Smithtown is being presented online through The Studio of Key West, starting February 13, 2021. For tickets, visit https://tskw.org/smithtown-2/