I'd like to introduce you all to a man who surely needs no introduction if you have been a working indie theatre artist in NYC for the past decade or so: verse playwright Kirk Wood Bromley. As Artistic Director and founder of Inverse Theater, Kirk has written and self-produced 8 verse plays and 2 musicals, one of which, Want's Unwisht Work is published in Playing with Canons alongside Stolen Chair's The Man Who Laughs. His awards and accolades are far too many to mention, but you should get to know this playwright's work as soon as you possibly can. I'll give you two options: either a) go to his website and download one of his e-texts or b) see the remount of No More Pretending that kicks off this years Ice Factory Festival at the Soho Think Tank.
And now, the questions...
1. When did you start writing in verse? Are there any prose plays hiding in a box under your bed?
I started writing in verse when I discovered that the rhythms in my head had to come out or I’d eat my fingers off (a habit only slightly abated by such release), somewhere around 19 years old. But my plays are only half in verse, so I have tons of prose lying around. Too much, in fact.
2. What do you find the greatest challenges and delights of the playwriting constraints you've given yourself?
The greatest challenge is the greatest delight – doing it well.
3. While Inverse's website is quite compelling in its elucidation of your mission, why do you feel it's important to create new verse work now?
I don’t really think it’s important for others to create new verse work. n fact, I generally can’t stand what’s come to be called a “verse play,” which is mostly some run-off of Seneca or Yeats. I think it’s important for me to create new verse work now because if I don’t do it I get incredibly sad.
4. How did you find the transition from writing a verse play to a verse musical?
I found no difference between writing a verse play and a verse musical, save that certain passages are meant to be sung, so I pop into “lyric” mode, which is more structurally diverse than the normal iambic pentameter in which (for some reason) I continue to slog.
5. Have you found more playwrights tackling verse in the years since you emerged? If so, how do you feel about the trend?
I’m not really sure. Some people have said this is the case, but I can’t say. And to be honest, I don’t feel anything about the trend, not only cuz I’m not sure there is one, but cuz I think people should write what they want and so be it.
6. NO MORE PRETENDING received rave reviews in its last incarnation. How has it changed from the version you presented earlier this year?
It is completely different, mostly because the beginning, middle, and end are completely different. Mobad still rants and rants, but the reason he’s ranting has changed big time, and given it, I think, a deeper bang. Though to be honest I strongly suspect I’ve ruined a good thing.
And, a few silly ones for kicks:
1. What's your favorite poetic meter? Free verse is my favorite poetic meter, I’m just not free enough to do it.
2. How do you feel about rhyme? I love rhyme, as long as I don’t hear it.
3. What's your favorite word you've invented? Vachina, from “Made in Vachina.”
4. Shakespeare or Moliere? Good question. I have never met anyone who shares my feelings about Moliere, which is that he is an absolute waste of stage. So, Shakespeare, though I hope to hell I feel different soon.
[Editorial comment: but Moliere is so fabulous!!! How could Mr. Bromley say such a thing? That said, we fully respect his opinions and would love to hear more about his complaints against the great Moliere...]