Sad that Christmas is over? Don’t worry; you’ve got one more event to add to your holiday calendar: our January 6 show at Cafe Stritch. This week we’ll be teasing you with previews of next Wednesday’s lineup, which will feature the work of a few of our favorite local writers, as well as a number of new voices from around the world. First up: playwright Roy Proctor. We can’t wait to produce his hilarious short play, “Fabulous Water Sports.”
Roy Proctor wrote his first play in 2012 after retiring from a 30-year career as the staff theater and art critic on the two daily newspapers in Richmond, Va. Since then, he has completed four full-length plays and 43 short plays in addition to audio adaptations of a number of those plays. They have been either fully produced or presented as staged readings in London, Cambridge, Bristol, Bath, Cardiff and Sheffield in the United Kingdom as well as in New York City, Washington, Richmond, Raleigh, New Orleans, Seattle, Los Angeles, San Diego, Pittsburgh, Huntington (W. Va.), Charleston (S.C.), South Bend (Ind.) and Edinboro (Pa.). Two have been published. Four are being produced for broadcast and/or podcast by radio theaters in New York City and San Francisco. Three of his many Chekhov short story adaptations, collectively titled “Russian Roulette: Shots for Chekhov!,” were part of England’s Bath Fringe Festival in 2015. Proctor grew up in Thomasville, N.C., and graduated in 1962 with a BA in English (Creative Writing) at the University of Iowa, where he wrote fiction under Philip Roth in the Iowa Writers Workshop. He lives in Richmond and is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America.
Honors and Awards:
Richmond Folio Award (first annual award “for outstanding contribution to Richmond theatre community”), a crystal trophy presented by the merging Richmond Shakespeare and Henley Street Theatre at their first annual Bootleg Ball, Virginia Holocaust Museum, May 11, 2013.
Right now, I’m especially proud of the podcast of one of my Chekhov story adaptations, “Settling the Score,” that was created by Amy’s Horse in Vermont. It stars Broadway luminary James Naughton (best-actor Tonys for “City of Angels” and “Chicago”) and veteran Broadway character actor John Christopher Jones, was released on Dec. 22, 2015, and can be heard free at www.amyshorse.com.
What inspired you to participate in Play On Words?
I saw your call for submissions on Facebook and said, “Why not?” I’ll jump on any vehicle that will carry me as a playwright. I don’t think a play is complete until it has connected with audiences. I’m delighted to be able to connect with folks in San Jose.
Which writers or performers inspire you?
As a theater critic, I reviewed all 37 plays in the Shakespeare canon, and I never tired of good productions of his incomparable work. As a Southerner, I also have a soft spot in my heart for Tennessee Williams.
Name a book or performance that fundamentally affected you.
Innumerable books and performances have shaped my vision, and I can’t cite some to the exclusion of the rest.
Can’t wait til next week to join the conversation? Sign up for our new email newsletter, RSVP for our January 6 show, tweet us, catch up on Instagram…and if you see us in San Jose we’ll usually accept a high five.
As a reminder, our January 6 show will be collecting $5 donations at the door. We also will be live-streaming this show with South Bay Pulse–stay tuned to learn more!