9 Questions: George Brant

October 23, 2013

 George Brant’s plays include Elephant’s Graveyard, Grounded, The Mourners’ Bench, and Three Voyages of the Lobotomobile. A Core Writer at the Playwrights’ Center, his scripts have been awarded the Kennedy Center’s David Cohen National Playwriting Award, an Edinburgh Fringe First Award, the Smith Prize and the Keene Prize for Literature. He is published by Samuel French, Oberon Books and Smith & Kraus.



1. A group of friends is having a potluck-- what do you bring?

My signature summer salad. Unless it's winter, and I bake a frozen pie I have stashed away for emergencies.


2. What piece of conventional wisdom about playwriting have you found to be the least helpful?

"Write what you know." I think this is helpful up to a point, and perhaps best as a starting point for writers, but part of what keeps writing interesting for me is researching subjects I know nothing about and challenging myself to imagine my way into their world.

3. Where is a place you've never been that you would love to go?

I would love to visit New Zealand. Or Paris. Or Spain. I have recently been bit by the travel bug.


4. What is most helpful to you as you sit down to write a first draft?

A first line or image, a cup of coffee and the internet and phone turned off.


5. I am a closet ______________.

Buffy fan. (the TV show, not the movie)


6. If for some reason you were suddenly forbidden to write, what would you end up doing?

Go back to acting.

7. Is there a book you read, play or movie you saw, or story you heard as a child that had a significant impact on you?

John Steinbeck's The Acts of King Arthur and his Noble Knights. My first big-boy book. I didn't want it to end so much that I never finished the last chapter. Still.


8. What is the biggest obstacle or setback you've ever faced in creating a play, and how did you move past it?

I've found most of my biggest plot obstacles have been resolved by speaking them out loud to a friend and being forced to articulate what I'm hoping to accomplish with the moment and the play as a whole.


9. Do you write facing a wall or a window?

I used to be a wall-man, but have transitioned to windows

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