Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Interview With Playwright David-Matthew Barnes on Better Places to Go

Original cast members from Better Places to Go
by David-Matthew Barnes
Better Places to Go
An Interview with Playwright 
David-Matthew Barnes

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.

Q: Are these characters based on real people?
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
Q: Do you have any weird writing quirks or rituals? 
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.

Purchase a copy of Better Places to Go.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Your Two Forms of Success

Recently, playwright Marcus Gardley was interviewed by Rebecca Gross for the National Endowment for the Arts.

Gardley, who also teaches playwriting at Brown University, shared an important concept that writers should take to heart.

One of the questions asked: "What do you think is the most important thing you can teach your students?" Gardley responded, "The most important thing I've learned in the last few years is that you have to be open to redefining objectives for yourself in order to stay focused as a writer. I always ask my students to give two forms of success: there's success where the only thing preventing you from achievement is you, and then there's a level of success that requires other people. As long as one of those is working, that should be enough for you to keep going."

The concepts he presents here - two forms of success - are fascinating and practical.

Look at your own creative process and determine what your two forms of success are. Are you preventing yourself from your next achievement? What do other people need to do in your life to help you reach the next level?

You can read the interview with Marcus Gardley in its entirety here.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

PLAY OF THE DAY: We Never Made it to Paris

A new stage play by David-Matthew Barnes
We Never Made it to Paris
by David-Matthew Barnes

Full Length Stage Plays
Characters: 2 males. One character is Latino. Both characters dance.
Genre: Drama
Set: The landscape traveled in this journey is broad. However, the set remains the same.
Rating: This script contains adult language and themes.
Production Highlights: This script received a world premiere at The Producer's Club in New York City.
Featured In: Brave Enough to Love: Gay and Lesbian Stage PlaysMonologues That Kick Ass; and Deuces: Stage Plays for Two Actors
Awards: National finalist in the Saints and Sinners Playwriting Competition
Story: We Never Made it to Paris is a creative fusion of language, music, movement, dance, photography, and light. The story spans over the course of eighteen years in the lives of two men: Eros, a former model, and Bird, a former actor. Fearing real love doesn’t exist, Bird sabotages their young affair, only to realize years later they are soul mates.

Information about producing We Never Made it to Paris can be found here.

Poster from the world premiere of We Never Made it to Paris,
performed at the Producer's Club in NYC.

PLAY OF THE DAY: Trixie's Last Date with the Boogey Man

From a recent college production in Georgia of
Trixie's Last Date with the Boogeyman
by Dustin Mayrose

One-Act Plays By Title M-Z
Characters: 2 females, 1 male. All characters are in their 20's.
Genre: Comedy
Set: A sandwich and ice cream shop in a quiet corner of a beachside boardwalk.
Rating: This play contains adult language and mature themes and is not suitable for younger audiences.
Production Highlights: This play received a world premiere at Oglethorpe University in Atlanta. This play received a New York premiere at The Producer's Club. It has been performed at colleges around the country.
Story: A Southern belle named Trixie Howard is forced to survive a date from Hell in a desperate attempt to no longer be single.

Information about producing Trixie's Last Date with the Boogeyman can be found here.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014


THRENODY: A One-Act Play by David-Matthew Barnes.

by David-Matthew Barnes

One-Act Plays By Title M-Z
Characters: 1 female, 1 male
Genre: Drama
Set: A farmhouse in a rural town in Central California.
Rating: This play contains adult language and mature themes and is not suitable for younger audiences.
Production Highlights: Threnody has been adapted into a dramatic short film. This play received a critically-acclaimed world premiere at the Thistle Dew Dessert Theatre in Sacramento, California. Since then, it has received numerous productions at colleges and community theatres around the country including performances in Atlanta and Chicago.
Featured In: The Best Stage Scenes; The Best Women's Stage Monologues; The Best Men's Stage Monologues; Deuces: Stage Plays for Two Actors; Monologues That Kick Ass
Story:  Dana and Jake are a young couple who suffer from a horrible drug addiction and a volatile love affair. Threnody is an in-depth and frightening exploration of the disintegration of two people, grasping for any signs of hope or human compassion in a world where none exists.
Kindle: This title is also available on Kindle.

"In the Tennessee Williams-flavored Threnody, the dialogue sings with poetic flashes..."
The Sacramento News & Review

Threnody is manic, emotionally-distraught psyche to boot!”
The Festival of Emerging American Theatre

Threnody is realistic and detailed...Powerful and strongly written with an important subject.”      
Nantucket One-Act Festival

Threnody is a gritty tale of urban love and drug addiction...”
The Sacramento Bee

Information about producing Threnody can be found here.

Monday, May 19, 2014

PLAY OF THE DAY: That Bitch Brenda Stole My Lip Gloss (and I Want it Back)

A New Play by Dallas Valrey
That Bitch Brenda Stole My Lip Gloss (And I Want It Back)
by Dallas Valrey

One-Act Plays By Title M-Z
Characters: 2 females. Both characters are in their teens.
Genre: Seriocomic
Set: A girls bathroom in an American high school.
Rating: This play is suitable for older teens.
Production Highlights: This new play has not been produced. A world premiere is available.
Featured In: Brave Enough to Love: Gay and Lesbian Stage PlaysMonologues That Kick AssYou Think You Know Us: Stage Plays for Teen Actors
Story: Fed up with the cruel antics of a lip gloss-stealing mean girl named Brenda, fifteen-year-old Jenessa is faced with the opportunity to seek revenge by outing her nemesis to their entire school when she discovers that Brenda has carefully hidden the truth that she's a lesbian.

Information about producing That Bitch Brenda Stole My Lip Gloss (and I Want it Back) can be found here.

Saturday, May 17, 2014


Edited by David-Matthew Barnes

Monologue + Scene Collections

Also available on Kindle.

We are pleased to announce the publication of this collection of ten widely-produced stage plays featuring one-act and full-length scripts exploring the lives of gay and lesbian characters and themes; includes Baby in the Basement, Better Places to Go, Boxcar, Defenseless, Frozen Stars, Johnny Ramirez Really Wants to Kiss Me, Just Before the Drop, Relocations, That Bitch Brenda Stole My Lip Gloss (and I Want it Back), and We Never Made it to Paris.

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