Things have been going so well in Rob and Jen’s relationship that after a few months of dating, Rob is ready to propose. His plan seemed simple enough. He’d take Jen to dinner, propose marriage, she’d say yes, and they’d live happily ever after. What he didn’t count on was everyone in the restaurant chiming in! Between the old ladies at the table next to him and the divorced man on the other side both offering varying opinions on married life, Jen can hardly answer. Throw in a sassy waitress, more eavesdropping diners, Rob’s ex-girlfriend, a lawyer, a wedding planner, a couple of robbers, and the police, and their special night is turned into a free-for-all event.
PLAYWRIGHT JAMES A. GUSTAFSON TALKS ABOUT HIS PLAY
ALL CHIME IN
Q: WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE THIS PLAY?
A: When I don’t have any ideas, I like to take a seeming benign situation and populate it with few characters interacting and responding to each other. As the play goes on I add ‘eavesdroppers’ joining the conversation with unsolicited advice or opinions. I also like to have the discussion veer off on tangents that are unrelated topics just see it goes. It’s a fun way to write because as an author you don’t know where the story is going or when it’s over until your characters tell you it’s done.
Q: WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE PART OR LINE IN THE PLAY? WHY?
A: I like the way all the characters feel entitled to offer their unsolicited random opinions to total strangers. I like it because it that happens so often in real life like: in a hardware store buying paint when a stranger advises you not to buy a particular brand… or in the grocery when buying fruit and someone chides you saying, “The fruit is much fresher at Fred’s Market.” The world is full of unwelcome advisors.
Q: WHERE DID THE CHARACTERS COME FROM? ARE THEY BASED ON PEOPLE YOU KNOW?
A: The characters are from my imagination but I allow them to take on a life of their own and create their own personalities as they interact with one another. I like to include stereotypes like nosy little old ladies, know-it-alls, cynics and very angry people.
Q: WHAT DID YOU TRY TO ACHIEVE WITH THIS PLAY?
A: I just wanted to have some fun writing with the hope an audience would enjoy a performance. I want to provide entertainment that doesn’t have any redeeming social value or message.
Q: DO YOU HAVE ANYTHING ELSE YOU'D LIKE TO ADD?
A: You’ll know a play is working when you don’t have to think. All you have to do is sit back, listen to your characters and take dictation as they create the show for you.