(Brian Parks’s talk with Craig Lucas ran in the Village Voice, 4/22/09.)

Q&A With Playwright Craig Lucas, the Man Who Would Have Written Peter Pan

It's been a big theater season for playwright Craig Lucas. In November, his Prayer for My Enemy made its New York premiere at Playwrights Horizons, and now comes The Singing Forest, currently in previews at the Public Theater. The new piece–directed by Mark Wing-Davey and featuring Olympia Dukakis and Jonathan Groff among its cast–explores sexual desire, psychiatry, family history, and the legacy of the Holocaust in both grave and farcical tones. On the occasion of the new play, we sent Lucas a few questions….

Tell us about the impetus for The Singing Forest.

I wrote the first scene for Uta Hagen's 80th birthday. I sent it to her and she wrote back, "Can you really imagine me saying all these filthy things?" Olympia Dukakis does not apparently share these qualms.

A program note by Public Theater artistic director Oskar Eustis mentions that you've been working on the play for almost a decade. Is that an unusually long time for one of your plays?

There was never a time when I was not writing The Singing Forest. I will be writing The Singing Forest in my next life.

Are there any newer or younger playwrights with whom you are especially impressed??

I just spent some time with four MFA playwriting students at Brown University. Their names are Mallery Avidon, Jackie Sibblies, Mia Chung, and Joe Waechter. Absolutely amazing, all of them.


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