Long long ago... in a kingdom far away... ok, Irvington... we had our first playwrights festival at the Q. We called it: [fanfare] The Playwrights Festival at the Q. It was wonderfully successful and a whole lot of fun.. sure, we didn't have mounds and mounds of submissions (only about 30 or so) since we were still fairly new, but the plays were reviewed, per usual, by in town judges and then again by out of town judges and 5 were selected for the readings. FISHING WITH SEYMOUR DROSTY was one of those plays. It was a short little 15 minute one act about a strange encounter in a strange little bar with a strange little man, and it immediately delighted me. But, the way the Playwrights Festival works is the audience gets to vote on which of the plays read during the two evenings will be produced by Q in the future... so it wasn't up to me. It was up to the people. And the people chose Seymour.
Little did I know that Jordan Lyons and I were to become good friends in a short amount of time. As a matter of fact, I wouldn't know that, myself, for another year from then. The night of the victory, he accepted his accolades and I didn't see him again until the following year (he says he came to see Cabaret Poe so he saw me, but he's a writer and we all know they lie a lot, it's part of the job). One year later he appeared at the Playwrights Festival again, this time as a viewer instead of a participant, and from that moment on he decided to make Q Artistry a part of his life in a big way. Since then, he has acted as our House Manager, worked as a producer and sound tech for multiple shows, and generally been a part of what keeps Q on it's feet. Now, he is guiding in a brand new arm of the organization... but we're not announcing that yet, so you'll just have to wait for the big splash. He is a devoted and loving friend, a wonderful humorist, and an incredibly valuable contributor to all that Q Artistry does.
However, this article isn't only meant to talk about what Jordan has done for Q. Let's talk about all that he does for the page. Little did we know when Jordan entered the Playwrights Festival back in 2011 that he was already a published author. His historical fiction thriller The Philadelphia First Ward Horror about the 1866 murders of the Deering family was published in 2009. He also has written more for the stage. In addition to being a cowriter for this year's Q-munity production TREASURE ISLAND: ROCK 'N THE OCEAN, he has also penned two additional acts to the DROSTY piece... which I have no doubt we will hear and see more of in the future.
He is a brilliantly gifted storyteller and imaginer. He is a tireless volunteer and selfless collaborator. And as you can tell by some of his answers to the 9 questions, he can aslo be a real smart ass. That's why we love him.
— Ben Asaykwee
1. It's not an every day occurence that one finds themselves writing a play... what is your reason(s) for doing so now?
Q Artistry provides a rare opportunity for Indiana artists. I immediately jumped on board as a playwright, even though that wasn't my original background, and it turned out to be one of the best decisions I ever made, artistically and personally.
2. What was your primary reason for writing this
piece in particular?
This piece translates well from medium to medium, and I knew audiences would have fun with Seymour on stage - which is important when the piece is only 15 minutes!
3. What's your FAVORITE PLAY EVER!?!?!?! Or at least one you really, REALLY like? Or at least one you've seen recently that you've liked? Or at least one you've seen recently? Or at least one you've seen...ever? ...Read? ...Heard about? (I'm only really looking for one answer.. I just wanted to make sure to cover all the bases)
My favorite play was an obscure little thing called ZirkusGrimm.
4. What is your favorite personal aspect of the writing process?
I have found that my favorite part of writing is when I have absolutely no idea what's going to happen on the next line, because then I get to enjoy it as much as the audience. I think if you can get that lost in your own work, you're either doing something really great, or really wrong.
5. If there was a play about tiny little penguin (not just tiny as in small, but tiny as in the size of peanut... because he was shrunk by something scientific or a warlock or something, that's not important).. a tiny little penguin that can't find his way back to his little igloo (made of used ice-cubes from a fountain drink, probably diet coke if I were to direct)... if a play like this existed, what would you name it?
Attribute of the Strong
6. If your play was made into a film, who would you like to see in one of the roles (we're talking movie stars here)?
Ralph Fiennes as Seymour. There is no one more simultaneously sweet and terrifying.
7. Who would you like to starring in the penguin play?
I'd like Ewan McGregor to star in the penguin play, because he can make any plot work. No offense.
8. Are the characters in this piece based on anything/anyone in particular? If so, can you elaborate? (if not, it's cool)
Yes, the characters in "Seymour" are based on artists and critics/audiences. It's a story about a story, what a listener does with a story, and ultimately, the artist-audience relationship. That there, the artist-audience/creator-created relationship, etc., should hopefully strike a little familiar chord in everyone.
9. If (or when) your play was to be produced on Broadway and they gave you a dressing room to hang out in during production and they said you could have any ONE thing you desired in that room... but couldn't take it out of the room... what would it be?
A buffet of my favorite foods, because I could binge eat before the show and yet be forced to purge myself before I left the dressing room. (I do not condone this behavior.)