Two writers poke fun of the pitfalls and perils of producing problem plays while The Problem with Problem Plays Players act out the comical conundrums. They explore the challenges of censorship, the madness of metaphors, and the awkwardness of adults who tackle teen dialogue. All is well and witty until unexpected guests and unearthed secrets send things amusingly awry. Realizing they have become trapped in a problem play of their own, the cast and crew must scramble to escape. Will they perish in the predicament or persevere and produce a positive payoff? This show features a gender-flexible cast which can easily be increased or decreased as needed. Performed on a bare stage. Running time of 25-30 minutes.
PLAYWRIGHT KEN PREUSS TALKS ABOUT HIS PLAY
THE PROBLEM FOR PROBLEM PLAYS
Q: WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE THIS PLAY?
A: I have been successful writing and directing comedies, but have steered clear of producing dramatic problem plays. This play began as foray into why I found them frightening and turned into a farce when I found their foibles and made them funny.
Q: WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE PART OR LINE IN THE PLAY? WHY?
A: I enjoy several short and silly scenes that can produce surprising laughs. I like the parental pathos of discovering poetry in a child’s purse, the craziness of coining catch phrases for the future, and the Players’ friendly but failed attempt to include a no-longer-living PJ in their impromptu dance number.
Q: WHERE DID THE CHARACTERS COME FROM? ARE THEY BASED ON PEOPLE YOU KNOW?
A: The characters bear no resemblance to anyone I know. I am a writer who has problems with problem plays, but I am nothing like Marty. I swear. I did not carry a blankie until I was seventeen. I was sixteen. And it was a teddy bear. Totally different. Ask my mom. She’ll tell you.
Q: WHAT DID YOU TRY TO ACHIEVE WITH THIS PLAY?
A: I wanted to give directors and actors a flexible and funny play that allowed them to poke fun at the serious plays they may tackle at other times. I also tried to achieve a brilliant script which would lead me into unparalleled heights of fame and fortune, but that, of course, was secondary.