In which our heroes attempt to interview each other.
First, Morgan interviews Jason with varying degrees of success...
Morgan: Why theater why now? Also known as are your parents mad you’re not a doctor?
Jason: They’re still not speaking to me, actually. So thanks for bringing that up. Jeez. But seriously. I do theater because when I was in high school, it was the thing that brought me out of my shell. I liked making people laugh, I loved the idea of everyone together in the room enjoying something at the same time. I loved the culture of it— the rigor, the tradition, the excitement and nerves of opening night. I love telling stories and thinking about people and what makes them tick. And to this day, that’s what I love about theater. When it’s good, it connects people. When someone performs my play way across the country in California, it’s so cool to think that a group of people are seeing and responding to what I’ve written somewhere in some other time zone. Also it’s made me a BAJILLIONAIRE so there’s that.
Morgan: Tell us about your life. Give us the 411. The dirt. The real deal. The whole kit and kaboodle. You know. Dish. Dish now. Just like…you know, what’s up. How’s it going?
Jason: I live with my wife Maria and my two-year-old daughter Lucy in Queens, New York. They’re the bosses of me. Maria is also very very pregnant with our second kid so the pressure is ON. I have to learn all the lyrics to Frozen now because Lucy is getting old enough to realize I’m faking it and our newest addition is also a girl.
I’m originally from Connecticut.
I wrote my first play when I was 16.
I’m a First Lieutenant in the National Guard and I served in Afghanistan in 2014.
I love pizza, mostly because my last name begins with it.
I wear a lot of neutral colors.
I enjoy watching movies, specifically with my two best friends, Ian McWethy (also a Stage Partners writer) and Patrick Greene (ooohhh another Stage Partners writer). We also go out for ribs as well.
I really like visual art and if I hadn’t become a playwright, I was going to become a painter, so I still do that a lot.
Morgan: What’s your favorite play?
Jason: Ugh. That’s tough one. I mean, anything I’ve written is clearly superior to anything else in the universe. But, I’m actually a big fan of Thornton Wilder. Our Town is a classic for a reason. It’s such a beautiful play, and it totally stands the test of time. Every time I read it I discover new reasons why it’s amazing and heartbreaking and life-affirming and all of those things that make it so great.
Morgan: What’s the most exciting part of starting Stage Partners other than getting to spend lots of time with ME, which is OBVIOUSLY the best part, and I’m sure you are treasuring EVERY SECOND. But aside from that…?
Jason: Uh. Yeah. Yeah. The you part is. Um. Great. It’s…great. But um, yeah OTHER than that, the most exciting part has been starting to connect with teachers, producers and groups and match them with plays they love. I get really happy when I know we have a customer who got what they needed easily. It’s why we started this whole thing. We got an email the other day where someone was so excited they got to do Don Zolidis’ MONSTER and they were like "this play is perfect for us! Thank you!" It’s a great feeling to know you eliminated hassle for a busy teacher or artistic director. They have so much to worry about, it’s nice to remove the time it can take to select and license plays.
Morgan: Okay. Final question. Wild Card. You have to live life as either a garden gnome or a decorative birdhouse. Which do you choose? Go.
Jason: I mean, clearly garden gnome. I want to be able to scowl all I want and I don’t want birds pecking at me all day. What a terrible question. I’m questioning our collaboration now.
Morgan: Okay, good.
Jason: Well, maybe a little.