PLAYWRIGHT EDDIE MCPHERSON
TALKS ABOUT "THE COW TIPPERS"
Q: WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE THIS PLAY?
A: My friends were claiming that cow tipping is only an urban legend and that it's physically impossible to knock over a grown cow. But then again, they're from California, so I knew there was no convincing them. I merely wrote a play about it instead. (By the way, cow tipping in not an urban legend.)
Q: WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE PART OR LINE IN THE PLAY? WHY?
A: The scenes where Cowboy is trying his best to court Cloe. His innocence and determination make for great comedy. At the same time, most of us can identify with him having a crush on someone, yet the recipient of our attention not returning the favor. We've all been there, right? Or.is it..just me?
Q: WHERE DID THE CHARACTERS COME FROM? ARE THEY BASED ON PEOPLE YOU KNOW?
A: Yes they are. I have taught rural students most of my adult life because I choose to teach these kids. I grew up in a small community called Dog Town, Alabama, in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, so I identify with their personalities. You have to become very innovative when living so far from big cities and rural kids become creative when it comes to their recreation time. Directing rural kids in theatre productions is also fun. There is no arrogance or ego. Just kids doing their best and having a great time.
Q: WHAT DID YOU TRY TO ACHIEVE WITH THIS PLAY?
A: I live in the city now and I know about the attitudes a lot of city folks have about country living. They make their redneck jokes using their best "hick" accents. I tell them that if they had to live in the country for a year, they'd never leave. After their laughter dies down, I walk away offended. So I took a city slicker (Mrs. Brown), placed her in the middle of nowhere and she stayed. So there! Whew, I feel much better.
Q: DO YOU HAVE ANYTHING ELSE YOU'D LIKE TO ADD?
A: I hope when people play these characters, they don't play them as hillbillies. They're not. They are down-to-earth people with big hearts who are content with the simple lives they live. (Not that there's anything wrong with hillbillies.)