FringeNYC Playwrights Carrying the Torch

We asked ITN’s FringeNYC playwrights to name four playwrights who inspire them.

I always think it tells you something about an artist if you find out who her/his heroes are. So on a fun little Facebook meme that I created last weekend (which you can find here), I asked the authors of the plays in ITN’s 2016 FringeNYC collection which playwrights inspire them.

I was delighted by the results!

Numero uno playwright of all time, William Shakespeare, was not on anyone’s list.

Big name American playwrights cited include: Eugene O’Neill (David Leeper), Tennessee Williams (Kirk White), Arthur Miller (David Leeper), and Edward Albee (Robert Gelberg). [Names in parentheses are the FringeNYC playwrights who named them.]

A handful of playwrights got two nods:

  • Annie Baker (Michael Ross Albert and Steve Kaliski)
  • Samuel Beckett (Alla Ilyasova and Cassie M. Seinuk)
  • Anton Chekhov (Alla Ilyasova and Steve Kaliski)
  • Will Eno (Michael Ross Albert and Steve Kaliski)
  • Sarah Kane (Max Gill and Alla Ilyasova)
  • Tony Kushner (Kevin R. Free and Andrew Kramer)
  • Martin McDonagh (Alla Ilyasova and Cassie M. Seinuk)
  • Terrence McNally (Sean Chandler and David Leeper)

I LOVE that many contemporary, not-so-well-known playwrights (including some on ITN) made it to some lists, like Kirk Wood Bromley (Ed Malin), Daniel Talbott (Kathleen Warnock),  and Cate Yu (Kevin R. Free).

Some of the choices tell you A LOT about the playwrights’ interests and styles — Ed Malin, for example, choose wordplay masters Bromley, Ayckbourn and Stoppard; while Sean Chandler selected seminal gay playwrights Harvey Fierstein, Terrence McNally and Jane Wagner.

A fun and enlightening experiment!