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Dan O’Brien

9 May 2017 | Email This Post Email This Post | Print This Post Print This Post

The playwright and poet Dan O’Brien discusses his play The House in Scarsdale, which had its world premiere at the Theater at Boston Court in Pasedena, California this past weekend, his writing and more, with Joseph Planta.

Text of introduction by Joseph Planta:

I am Planta: On the Line, in Vancouver, at TheCommentary.ca.

The distinguished playwright and poet Dan O’Brien joins me again. His latest play, The House in Scarsdale had its world premiere this past weekend at The Theater at Boston Court in Pasadena, California. If we take Tolstoy at his word that all families are unhappy in their own way, in this play Mr. O’Brien looks at his family’s unhappiness to understand why his parents and siblings separated themselves from him nearly ten years ago. We touched on some of this during an appearance Dan made on this program in February 2015 upon the publication of a collection of poetry called Scarsdale (CB Editions, 2014). In the play, the characters search for truth amidst the lies and secrets that abound a family that also has to deal with mental illness. I’ve only read the play and it’s quite evocative. There are great turns of phrase throughout, and just so many questions derived from the questions asked in the show. I’ll get Mr. O’Brien to tell us about his play, about this production, and this past of his that he’s made into art. Dan O’Brien is a Guggenheim Fellow (2015-16) in Drama and Performance Art. His play The Body of An American received the Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama Inspired by American History, as well as the Horton Foote Prize for Outstanding New American Play, and the PEN Center USA Award for Drama, among other prizes. Productions were staged by Primary Stages, the Gate Theatre in London, as well as Portland Center Stage. His three collections of poetry are the aforementioned Scarsdale, War Reporter, and New Life. The production of The House in Scarsdale is directed by Michael Michetti, stars Tim Cummings and Brian Henderson, and will run until 04 June 2017. Visit www.bostoncourt.com for tickets. Dan’s own site is at www.danobrien.org. I spoke to Dan last week, just before the show’s opening night. Please welcome back to the Planta: On the Line program, in Los Angeles, California, Dan O’Brien; Mr. O’Brien, good morning.