|Original cast members from Better Places to Go|
by David-Matthew Barnes
An Interview with Playwright
Q: Where did the idea for Better Places to Go come from? What inspired you to write the script?
A: The idea first came to me during a cross-country road trip. It was in the fall of 2001. I was moving back to California from Chicago. We stopped at a roadside diner - much like the one in the play - in Grand Island, Nebraska. I was so fascinated by the people that were there. I realized I was surrounded by potential characters. As soon as I arrived in California, I wrote the play immediately. It was produced less than two years later.
A: Not really, no. The characters came to me separately. Rosie was first, followed by Judy. Then, Ricardo and Derek. Rosie has become a favorite character of mine. Although she wasn't when I first wrote the script. I've grown to love her over time.
Q: Are you surprised by the success of the play?
A: I'm surprised any time something I've written is published or produced. I think what we really made me happy about this play was the many places it went - and is still going. I was surprised by the love for it in New York. It's been produced twice there and it looks like a third production might happen there again soon. This play has been anthologized a lot, so that's helped the script and the characters reach a lot of young actors.
Q: How often do you write? And when do you write?
A: I write almost every day. During the week, I’m up every morning by five o’clock, sitting at the computer in my home office. On Saturdays, I will typically write until noon. Sundays I take the day off to refuel.
|Playwright David-Matthew Barnes|
A: I probably have too many too count, but a few are: I must have a title before starting a big project; I always create an unofficial soundtrack for my novels or stage plays that I listen to constantly while creating; I don’t read other books or scripts while working on a project.
Q: Any chance we will see these characters again?
A: Yes. There are discussions happening about adapting Better Places to Go into an independent film. I hope it happens. I'm writing the script this summer. All of these characters have always felt larger than life to me. They need the big screen to tell their stories.
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