Hey y’all! Who is getting excited for the Seabury Quinn Playfest this April!! Next up in the interview series is one of everyone’s favorite OU Third Year Playwrights, Neal Adelman! Neal has become well known in the playwriting program for his hilarious and unique language, his crazy madnesses and his way cool demeanor! Read my full interview with him below and learn more about him and his awesome new play that will be featured in a production at Seabury Quinn, Only Good Things Happen at The Fair.
Your play “Only Good Things Happen at the Fair” started as a proposal for the Trisolini Award, which you then won. Can you talk about your proposal and things your initial ideas for this play?
Well, it’s complicated. The initial push for the play came a year ago from the coupling of some local headlines about a Sheriff who was recently found to have misbehaved and my own personal experience with members of the law enforcement community when I was growing up in Texas. But, it has evolved a great deal since then and—in so much as characters and story are concerned—it bears many similarities to a short story I started writing about six years ago, but could never quite get a handle on. And the title came from a certain conversation I had about eight years ago when I asked a girl if she wanted to go to the Southwest New Mexico State Fair with me. She said: no, and in a last ditch effort to convince her otherwise, I said: only good things happen at the fair, and I knew it was a terrible lie and that I was going to have to write about it some day.
Which artists (writers,playwrights etc.) do you look up to?
So many. Okay. Here goes. Wait. I’m going to break them into sub-headings not cause I’m hot shit, but cause if anyone reads this and feels compelled to check these writers out, I want them to be able to find them at the book store. Is that cool? Okay. Fiction: Barry Hannah, Ed Jones, Larry McMurtry, Amy Hempel, and Cormac McCarthy. Playwrights: Sam Shepard, Harold Pinter, and my mentor, Mark Medoff. And, my favorite songwriters are: Townes Van Zandt, the Boss, and Lightning Hopkins. Cause songwriters are important too. People listen on average to over a hundred songs a day and if you think that shit doesn’t accumulate and affect your writing, you’re crazy.
If your play took me on a date, what exactly would the date be like? Would I enjoy it?
Well, first my play would come pick you up in his Camaro. Not a new Camaro, but probably a ’78 or ’79 with a tuned up 350 underneath and a t-top. And as soon as you get in the car, just so you won’t be intimidated by the glass packs or Humble Pie kicking through the stereo, my play will tell you that if you need to pick your nose, it’s cool if you just wipe your buggers on the floor mat. And then, we’re going to the Dairy Queen, cause it’s summer, and cause this is Texas, and cause we’re gonna need a Butterfinger Blizzard to cool off. And where are we going? Well, if the fair’s in town, we’re going to the fair, cause my play loves the fair, but if the fair isn’t in town, then we’ll probably drive the dirt roads and then park somewhere out by the lake and watch the fire-flies dance over the water and maybe drink a couple beers and, yeah, you’d enjoy it, cause even though you don’t like Camaros and you think Dairy Queen is for old men in suspenders, and you went to college but my play never did, you’d still enjoy it, cause underneath the Humble Pie and glass-packs, there’s an innocence and sincerity to my play you want to be around. That said, I doubt you two would go out a second time. If he called. And he will.
What is a fun fact most people don’t know about you?
I’m a pretty good dancer.
You’ve read about and now have a majorrr crush on Neal! Now Come check out theproduction of his play “Only Good Things Happen At The Fair” at the 21st Annual Seabury Quinn PlayFest: Here are the times you can catch it:
8:00 pm – April 16th, 17th & 22nd;
2:00 pm – April 25th, Elizabeth Baker Theater, Kantner Hall
Here is the blurb for it:
Sheriff Lonnie Murdock knows that the facts are only ten percent of the truth and the truth is: his son needs to get off his skinny ass and go to the fair. I mean: it’s tradition. But Jason can’t cause he’s a bad man and he knows it, no matter what Heather Ann has to say. Only Good Things Happen at the Fair is a play about the inheritance of masculinity and poorly taxidermied animals.
More about Neal
Neal Adelman was born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas. He writes plays and short stories. His one act play TARRANT COUNTY received an NPP workshop and was a 2014 KCACTF John Cauble Outstanding Short Play National Finalist; his fiction has appeared in Puerto del Sol and Caldera Culture Review. When he’s not writing, he’s either fishing or trying to start a rock and roll band. He currently lives in southeast Ohio and studies dramatic writing at Ohio University.