Corey McDaniel of Theatre22 chats with playwright Vincent Delaney, one of four playwrights selected to participate in the 2017 Construction Zone. The series offers playwrights an opportunity to develop and share new work, while providing audiences with an intimate and meaningful exposure to the process. Delaney’s play, The Ansel Intimacy, will be read on Sep 21 at 7:00pm.
What inspired you to become a playwright?
I started as an actor, and had this unexpected chance to write a short scene for some friends when we were at Cornish. It hooked me right away—setting up friends to make something new, and watching them run with it. Later I got to go to The Playwrights’ Center for a fellowship, and kind of learned how intense the rehearsal room can be for the writer.
I fell in love with the collaboration, the give and take, that energy. I love writing the first draft, but nothing is as amazing as what happens when everyone’s in the room. I think that probably comes from having started as an actor.
How did you come up with the idea for The Ansel Intimacy?
It fell pretty much from nowhere. I was thinking about the truly great two-actor plays out there, plays with depth and despair and humor, like Top Dog/Under Dog and True West. I was trying to come up with something for two friends to work on. The core relationship between Tate and Ansel fell from the sky, and right away it implied a whole range of complexities and possibilities.
What makes The Ansel Intimacy unique in your body of work?
It’s just three actors onstage, intimate and personal. But 75 years go by, and we see not only the aging and deepening of their relationships, but also glimpses of an entire society growing and evolving just offstage. So the play is kind of epic and intensely personal at the same time—something I’m so excited to explore.
What advice would you give to someone who is striving to become a playwright?
Take every note you can get. Try every possibility until you know what’s best. The audience is probably smarter than you. Your actors are going to get there faster than you will. Never give up, and never doubt that your voice matters.
For tickets and more info, visit our website.