Behind the Pineapple with Luke Wise

It’s the day of the show ya’ll!

And what better way to celebrate than getting to know our third and final playwright for the month of September.

Meet Luke Wise.

Like Fiona Kyle and Susan Goodell, Luke Wise is joining FRESH PRODUCE’d NYC for the first time. He brings to us boom. A beautiful docudrama. It’s a fast paced thriller and it’s definitely unlike anything we here at FPNYC have ever worked on before.

Let’s learn more!

FPNYC: Let’s start off from the beginning. How did you get into playwrighting?

LW: Writing has always been my first love. Ultimately, I went to school to study acting, but kept a little journal of script ideas for the day I would have time to write again. There aren’t enough acting jobs in the city to go around, so time for writing is abundant now! I also have enough ideas to keep me busy for the next twenty years…

FPNYC: Do you have a process when you are writing?

LW: I suppose the only consistent process I have for writing is the use of pen and paper. I like to write everything out by hand. The flow of dialogue from my head to the page is about consistent with the speed of the pen. Unfortunately, my brain can’t keep up with the speed of typing. Which means I spend hours transcribing, and trying to interpret my illegible cursive. I like to write everyday too. There’s tons of bad writing to get out of my system. The recently deceased Elmore Leonard said, “Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.” I like to tell myself to leave out the part when the audience tends to fall asleep.

FPNYC: How do the ideas turn into plays?

LW: Since my formal training was in acting, I tend to approach my work with what I call, “actor brain.” Usually ideas begin on the page with the development of character, and plot follows. The characters typically have a solid sense of where the story is going, and they’re kind enough to clue me in…usually. The exception seems to be when I’m writing for a competition, or applying for a commission. I usually develop a clear vision of the plot in these instances, and drape the characters on top.

FPNYC: What is the most special thing about being a story teller for you?

LW: The most special part of being a story teller for me, and a theatre artist in general, is the audience. I consider them sacred. The communion between artist and audience (in all mediums) is what fuels me creatively. I’m baffled by how earnestly some folks in the theatre try to deny this relationship.

FPNYC: How did boom come to be?

LW: boom is a departure for me in nearly every aspect of my writing. First of all, its a documentary piece, which is a genre I had no prior experience in as a writer, or otherwise for that matter. It was written in response to a series of tornados that swept through Southern Indiana and Northern Kentucky in the spring of 2012. It’s the only piece I managed to finish, beginning to end, while in school. Initially, it was difficult to decide which stories to tell. There were hundreds to chose from, each more devastating than the last. Ultimately, I focused on two stories that I felt did the most justice to all the stories. Early on in the writing process, I developed the idea of an expositional chorus to weave the dual narratives together. Once I sorted that out, it was just a matter of staying out of the way.

FPNYC: Where has boom been and where do you see it going?

LW: This production will be boom’s first time in front of an audience! I can’t necessarily say where I see boom going in the future. It has some big creative challenges. Thus far, the lovely artists at Fresh Produce’d have been the only folks brave enough to take them on.

Mr. Wise also has more projects on the way! His piece The Stand-Ins will have a run at the Manhattan Rep and for more information click here.

Trust me when I say that you don’t want to miss boom, An Honest Woman and Aruba as well as that charming Andrew Davies guiding us through the evening with his music stylings.

For more information on tonight’s show click here

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