Gabriel Byrne and the other actors who bring In Treatment to life do not make up the words that flow, sometimes hesitantly, sometimes in a rush of emotion, from their mouths. Nor do they create the expansive silences during which we sit, hearts pounding, waiting for the sigh, the cry, or the explosion. Writers make these words and these silences. They sit alone, staring at a computer screen or pushing a pen across paper, having conversations in their minds and making fictional characters into people who feel real and who reflect our shared human predicament.
Here are two of the new writers for In Treatment, Season Three:
Adam Rapp, the Sunil Episodes
Plays: Red Light Winter, short-listed for the Pulitzer Prize, Blackbird, and many more
Film: Winter Passing (2005)
Television: The L Word (creative consultant)
In his spare time, writes novels that are banned in Pennsylvania.
“What advice do you have for any young un-produced playwright who wants to have a first break in New York?
Don’t wait for anyone to anoint you. Put your play up in your apartment. Rehearse on your roof. Make work at all costs. Become obsessed with making work. Do it for free. Fall in love with your actors and actresses. Have sex and drive each other crazy. Make a family of theatre freaks. Go crazy with all of this because you’re young and you have the energy and you only live once and maybe, just maybe, in the midst of this fertility, someone will see the work and have an opportunity. But whatever you do, don’t wait. Waiting is death. And there’s nothing greater than doing it for free, for yourself, for each other.”
Adam Rapp behind the camera
In her review in the Wall Street Journal, Dorothy Rabinowitz observes:
Mr. Khan’s own performance is a thing of beauty, heart-rending in all its austerity and guile. Much the same can be said of the script for this and the rest of the Sunil episodes, written by Adam Rapp, directed by Paris Barclay. Episode one’s most affecting lines deserve more than a reduction to quotation—so for the moment let’s just say that it only takes Sunil’s composed recital of the uses of the Effexor pills his son insisted he take for depression to provide a hint of the wit and sophistication on hand here.
So good to see the writing get the attention it deserves!
Marsha Norman (who also wrote for In Treatment) about Adam Rapp:
“Adam writes like nobody else, his fierce poetic power as inescapable as the doom that waits for his characters. The work is bleak and true, his touch that of a master in the making.”
On writing plays:
“I love it. There’s nothing better than when I’m in the middle of a play. I can’t wait to wake up to write. I mean, sex is good and drugs are great, sometimes. But there’s nothing better than that kind of ephemeral longing that you feel—that yearning right before you wake up. That I can’t wait to get back in that room with those people. That’s what I’m addicted to.”
Manhattan Chronicles Interview by Alexandra Ares, Summer 2010 [This interview is no longer available]
BOMB Magazine interview by Marsha Norman, Spring 2006 [This interview is no longer available]
Alison Tatlock, the Frances Episodes
Plays: The Shore and The Catch
Film (as actor): Secretary (2002) and Cradle Will Rock (1999)
In her spare time, serves on the Board of Directors for Street Poets Inc., “a non-profit poetry-based peace-making organization dedicated to the creative process as a force for individual and community transformation,” and is an Affiliated Artist at The Clubbed Thumb, which “commissions, develops, and produces funny, strange, and provocative new plays by living American writers.”
There are no pictures of Alison Tatlock on the Internet. Seriously.
Reviews of The Shore:
“This innovative and thoughtful drama, the first Tatlock work to be produced, introduces the voice of a highly promising playwright.” – Backstage West
“There are hints of Edward Albee, Harold Pinter, and Alan Ayckbourn in Alison Tatlock’s quirky world-premiere play, “The Shore,” yet she boasts a uniquely invigorating style all her own…an impressive debut for a promising new playwright.” – Frontiers
“The play illuminates how the secrets in all families can protect and also imprison us. Brimming with humor, this beautifully crafted new work moves quickly toward a powerful and surprising conclusion.” – Goldstar.com
Part 2 includes Sarah Treem, Anya Epstein, and Dan Futterman. Stay tuned!
Note: Actors do make contributions to dialogue and direction, of course. A script comes in handy, though…