Hi everyone! Welcome to our interview series with the current rockin MFA playwrights, leading up to Seabury Quinn! Tyler Whidden is a 3rd year MFA playwright and his production “Occupation:Dad” is one of the two productions. He is known for his wisecracking sense of humor, his funny funny work and being friendly to all! Check out the interview below and then see his production this very month!! Also watch out for all 7 of the other interviews wirh our other writers!
1.So word on the street is this play is based on your own real life and experience being a father. What gave you the idea to write a play about this?
I’m always mining from my own life and being a father is definitely a major part of who I am, so I guess it comes from that. I’ve done a few Madness plays on the subject that seemed to work really well, so I just ran with it. And, it seems relevant when you consider the growing trend of stay-at-home fathers and the ever-present marketing to stay-at-home mothers – as if mothers don’t work or dads don’t know how to do the laundry.
2.What has it been like getting a production at OU? Have you enjoyed the rehearsal process?
The rehearsal process has been grand. The actors and Brian Evans (director) have been incredible and their voices really click with the play. From the very first reading we did in September to now, the talented actors in our Theater Division have been instrumental in helping me shape the play. And, Brian has been an incredible resource as well. His own experiences with being a stay-at-home father have really informed a lot of what is great in this production.
3.If your play and I got married and he took me on a honeymoon, what would the honeymoon be like? Would I like it?
What makes you think my play is a “he”?
4.what’s a fun fact about you?
The only fun thing about me is my wife.
More about Tyler’s play:
Occupation: Dad directed by Brian Evans
Blurb: Jason has a job, okay? He just works from home now. Things are tough nowadays what with the economy and all. So, stop looking at him like that. Lots of dads stay home with their babies. Right? It’s no big deal and it’s really not that tough. Except his kid won’t walk. And his mother won’t help. And his older brother’s a jerk-off. And his sister’s kids are already perfect and the playground moms are psychotic and everybody on Facebook hates him. But, other than all that, everything is just hunky-dory. Except his dad – you know what, forget his dad. It’s fine. Seriously. Everything is …
The play runs: 8:00 pm – April 14th, 15th 20th & 23rd; 2:00 pm – April 23rd, Forum Theater, RTV Building
Tickets for the Featured Productions are $5 general admission or FREE for OU Students (with valid student ID) through Arts for Ohio; available at the Templeton–Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium box office.
More about Tyler
Tyler Whidden was born and raised in Cleveland, OH where he grew up the least-talented son of a hockey-first family. After earning his BFA in Playwriting at Ohio University, he began a tragic career as a stand-up comic based out of Seattle, WA. After years of toiling on the road, he moved to Chicago where he returned to theater, studying and working with Victory Gardens and the Neo-Futurists theaters among many others. He received his MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College and worked as Director of Education with the great Ensemble Theater of Cleveland. His play Dancing With N.E.D. was produced in 2012 in Cleveland and his family-friendly farce, The Unofficial Almost True Campfire Tales of Put-in-Bay was commissioned by the Put-in-Bay Arts Council as part of their Bicentennial Celebration of the Battle of Lake Erie in the Summer of 2013. He’s excited to be back where it all started and he lives with his beautiful wife, Angie — way out of his league — and their beautiful boy, Booker — his intellectual equal. http://tylerjcwhidden.com/