BWW Interview: Playwright Craig Garcia and LINGER at Premiere Stages from July 12 to July 29

BWW Interview:  Playwright Craig Garcia and LINGER at Premiere Stages from July 12 to July 29

Premiere Stages at Kean University will present Craig Garcia's Linger from July 12-29 in Kean University's Bauer Boucher Theatre Center, Vaughn Eames Hall. Recently selected from over 570 submissions as the winner of the 2018 Premiere Play Festival, Linger will feature actors Will Ehren, Michael Frederic, Robby Haltiwanger, Jonathan C. Kaplan, Sarah Kathryn Makl and Danielle Skraastad. John J. Wooten, producing artistic director of Premiere Stages, will direct.

In Mr. Garcia's powerful and affecting new work, Maryanne and James are forced to confront the possibility that their popular son is capable of an unthinkable act. As social media explodes over the incident, the couple struggles to hold their splintering family together.

Broadwayworld had the pleasure of interviewing Craig Garcia about his career and Linger.

A resident of Glen Ridge and graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, playwright Craig Garcia is also a screenwriter, filmmaker and producer. His plays have been developed through the TRU New Voices Reading Series and Luna Stage's New Moon Short Play Festival. He has also produced Off-Broadway in New York, including the play Never Swim Alone, winner of the NY International Fringe Festival, and See Bob Run (co-produced by Susan O'Connor) at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater.

When did you first realize your penchant for writing?

Both my father and brother are journalists so writing was part of my growing up. I knew from an early age I wanted to work in film, and, after college in Berkeley, started working in film production San Francisco. I co-wrote my first film shortly out of college and eventually came to New York to work as a screenwriter. It was there that I really discovered theater. I transitioned from the film world into theater, first producing, then writing.

Do you have any particular mentors or people who have encouraged your career?

The people who have most encouraged my career have been my parents, my wife and friends. My wife has supported me tirelessly through different stages, and ups and downs, of my writing life.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Write! I don't believe in waiting for inspiration, I believe ideas come from the process and if you work hard you will find good ideas. Also watch as much theater as you can (all kinds) and read as much (of everything) as you can. Seek out great work and learn from it.

What inspired your play, Linger?

"Linger" is about the fears and worries about living and raising children now. As kids grow to teens you realize how little control you have over them and how little you may actually know about them. Add in technology and social media and it's all exacerbated. The story of "Linger" is about finding out your child may be capable of committing a horrible assault and how you come to terms with that. It's about the urge to defend your child, maybe at all costs, but also about your responsibility to do what is right. This sends a schism right through the marriage and family.

Tell us a little about your experience working with Premiere Stages

Working with Premiere Stages has been an unbelievable experience. John Wooten (the director and Artistic Director) has been so collaborative and has brought out many layers of the play. And the cast is just amazing! It's absolutely been the best case scenario. The team at Premiere has been so supportive and they are all very talented and very kind people. I couldn't have asked for a better partnership.

What would you like metro area audiences to know about the show?

I would like folks to know that it's a pretty intense show that digs into the concerns parents have about their children in this world, explores how a marriage is tested by this and about the limits and strengths of love. It's very much of this moment while exploring themes that affect us all.

Do you have any specific plans for the future?

I would love to have more of my plays produced! And I would very much like to be able to work with Premiere again.

Anything else, absolutely anything you want BWW readers to know!

I'm happy, as a New Jersey playwright, to have my work produced in the state. It feels good to be produced in the community I live and work in.

Linger runs July 12-29 in the Bauer Boucher Theatre Center on the Kean University main campus in Union, N.J. Performances take place Thursdays and Fridays at 8:00 pm, Saturdays at 3:00 pm and 8:00 pm, and Sundays at 3:00 pm. Tickets are $30 standard, $20 for senior citizens and Kean alumni and staff, and $15 for students and patrons with disabilities. Significant discounts for groups of 8 or more apply. To make reservations or to order a season brochure, please call the box office at 908-737-7469 or visit Premiere Stages online at http://www.premierestagesatkean.com/.

Premiere Stages offers affordable prices, air-conditioned facilities and free parking close to the theatre. Premiere Stages also provides free or discounted tickets to patrons with disabilities. All Premiere Stages facilities are fully accessible spaces, and companion seating is available for patrons with disabilities. Assistive listening devices and large print programs are available at all times; publications in alternate formats are available with advance notice. Please call 908-737-4077 for a list of sign-interpreted, audio-described or open-captioned performances or visit http://www.premierestagesatkean.com/.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Craig Garcia

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