Hear what audiences are saying about ‘Men On Boats.’
Playwright Jaclyn Backhaus chats with us about the shortcomings of mainstream storytelling, and how plays like ‘Men On Boats’ can change that narrative.
Amidst their expedition to the Grand Canyon, the mighty explorers lose an oar, and it's all downhill from there.
Four years ago my parents died. First my mother and then, seven weeks later, my father. He was always a gentleman, and he loved her and she loved him, and I tell people he held the door for her and then followed her through it.
Adam Bock looks life straight in the eye. The truth has got to be there somewhere, doesn’t it? Maybe we can sneak up on it? Adam’s work always starts out easy. We recognize his characters right away: seemingly ordinary, oft-overlooked, he tunes in to the fresh vernacular poeticism of their daily speech. We laugh, disarmed. “This is life,” we think. “They’re so real.” But they’re also all a little restless.
In the first moment of Adam Bock’s early play 'Swimming in the Shallows' (1999), Barb confronts an idea that ultimately uproots her life: “Did you know there’s Buddhist monks who only own eight things,” she asks. “I bet I have eight hundred probably eight thousand things just in my kitchen. …I read this and I got a very upset very unnerved feeling.”
Adam Greenfield (Playwrights Associate Artistic Director) and Maria Striar (Clubbed Thumb Producing Artistic Director) discuss their mutual love for Jaclyn Backhaus, how they came to discover ‘Men On Boats,’ and the unique partnership between our theaters.
Adam Bock’s plays combine formal playfulness and effervescent wit with disarmingly penetrating insight into the human condition. Sly, incisive, and endlessly inventive, he has established himself as an indispensable voice in the contemporary dramatic canon. As we welcome him back for his third production at Playwrights Horizons, we invite you to take a stroll through his anthology-to-date with this selected production history.
Tim Sanford: I’m always interested in the story of the birth of a playwright, how it happens. Where do you think it began for you?
Gregory S. Moss: I started out as an actor, as a kid, when I was like seven, doing community theater. A lot of plays with giant puppets in them, a lot of fairy tales. I also did some writing, poems and stuff, along a parallel track. And I continued doing both through college. I was studying Medieval Lit in the day and acting in student-directed [María Irene] Fornes and Sam Shepard plays at night. But separately.
There are two dishes, above all, that I associate with my father. The first is ramen. And by “ramen” I mean instant ramen, not the artisanal, simmered-for-40-hours kind of Japanese ramen so popular right now. The latter is undoubtedly more delicious but was entirely unavailable to me in my youth.