Monday, May 12, 2008

And now, a word from our Playwright...

One of the best things about ASC's The Play's the Thing New Work series is working with a playwright who isn't dead. As much as we all love Shakespeare, we do often wish we could sit down and pick his brain on the motivations, detail and origins of his works.

So, we did just that with Sean Michael Welch, author of the latest new play in the series, Pompey :

My final performance at the University of Michigan-Flint was in the role of Pompey in Measure for Measure. Pompey is designated as the clown character in the work, but I took a different approach with him, portraying him as a more manipulative and seductive person. Now, in the final act, I had no speaking lines, but was on the stage as an observer. As I sat there, night after night, watching the action unfold, I found the whole end to be deeply unsatisfying. As an actor I understood the metaphor of God's justice, but as a character living in this world, my concern was with the reality before me.And that became the inspiration for the piece.

I has started writing Pompey in 2000, before I moved to New York. I turned out three pages, and then realized I didn't know what I was going for. The concepts were not solidified in my mind, so I left it alone. In 2005, having lived in New York for four years, and seeing more and more ridiculousness in politics, I found that I finally had an angle to work with and a solid concept to work from.

So, Pompey is my voice against the manipulations of powerful people and the use of wealth and influence to escape justice. Not God's justice, but a justice that was meant to incorporate everyone on a level playing field, which is what the American legal system promises to do. And who better to lead us through this exploration than a criminal?

The reading of Pompey is May 14th at 7:30PM at the West Side Theater, 285 West Side Avenue, Jersey City, NJ.

You can read more about ASC here, and more about Sean Michael Welch here.

1 comment:

Michael said...

I am directing plays in Lapeer, Mi and a colleague of mine wants to direct your show Boise, Idaho. He has sent you an email about royalties for that show and as we are putting together our season for next year, I would greatly appreciate a response in the next couple of weeks.

You can contact me at

Thank you!