Primary Stages Profile: Edward Precht, Primary Stages/Fordham MFA, ’17

EdwardPrechtWhat was your very first play about?

My first full-length play was about a guy who, in so few words, went on a very weird drug trip, during which he learned about the entire history of theater. So many theater puns. Like, 100% theater puns. It’s embarrassing in its own charming way, but it’s what got me here.

What is your earliest memory of the theater?

I couldn’t tell you my earliest, but I do know the most important: the day I saw George Brant’s Elephant’s Graveyard. Up until then I’d only seen pretty standard, kitchen sink-y plays. That production was the first that showed me the versatility of theater and the power of words.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received as a playwright?

I think it was Julie Jensen who told me she didn’t believe in writer’s block – that the best way to keep writing was, well, to keep writing. I’m still a little on the fence about it, but it has gotten me through some rough writing patches.

What makes a good artistic home?

The people. The people, the people, the people. Life sucks, man, and art is hard. But if you can find yourself a family – folks who understand you and challenge you and fuel you, both as an artist and a human being – then you’ll have found a home.

Tell us about your play! What was your inspiration?

Strange, America is about a young couple that gets stranded in a mysterious town in the Pacific Northwest. It’s a play about belief, cultural collision, and a very lifelike stuffed jackalope. I took inspiration from all over – Twin Peaks, Dante, Welcome to Night Vale, Rossetti, Gravity Falls, etc., etc., etc. – as well as a few things I (and, I think, all of us) struggle with from time to time. It’s been a joy-and-a-half to write. I hope it’s just as enjoyable to watch.

Edward Precht’s Strange, America will be presented ad April 20-23 at HERE Arts. Click here for more info.

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