Neil LaBute On Mormonism & Curtain Calls

Neil LaBute On Mormonism & Curtain Calls

Neil LaBute On Mormonism & Curtain CallsNotable playwright, screenwriter and director Neil LaBute sheds some light on his Mormon upbringing as well as comments on his distaste for curtain calls as part of a new interview.

When faced with a moral dilemma in 1999 after his edgy first play BASH had premiered, LaBute candidly remembers, "I had to make the decision to go forwards or backwards. I couldn't live in that limbo and decided it was better for me not to be a Mormon than to be a 'bad' Mormon. I don't think I was ever really devout enough. When someone would ask me if I was a practising Mormon, I would reply flippantly, 'Yes, but I need more practice.' I was doing things blatantly that Mormons were not supposed to do."

LaBute clarifies, "Members of the church are asked not to see R-rated movies and here I was making R-rated movies - spending most of my days crafting them. At some point you hold up these two different ideas of yourself and choose between them."

Additionally, commenting on curtain calls, LaBute offers, "I didn't want to wrap it up with that false moment where the actors come back on and say, 'Everything's okay!' After the play had been reviewed, I implemented a system where the stage manager could roll a dice to decide which of the actors would get a curtain call, so it would change every night. Curtain calls are a way for the audience to make eye contact, to say: 'We can be friends.'"

LaBute concludes, "Occasionally I want to say: 'I don't wanna be friends! This is not a friendly thing. This is a contest to see who can push each other around the hardest.'"

Check out the original article on the matter here.


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Pat Cerasaro Pat Cerasaro contributes exclusive scholarly columns including InDepth InterViews, Sound Off, Theatrical Throwback Thursdays, Flash Friday and Flash Special as well as additional special features, world premiere clips and extensive news coverage. His work for the site has appeared in The New York Times, The Hollywood Reporter, US Weekly, The Biography Channel, NBC and more. He also wrote and directed two sold-out 2014 BroadwayWorld charity concert events featuring all-star casts, EVERYTHING'S COMING UP BROADWAYWORLD.COM: A JULE STYNE TRIBUTE and THE LORD & THE MASTER: BROADWAYWORLD.COM SINGS THE MUSIC OF ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER & STEPHEN SONDHEIM.