Watch the Stage Play Reading of THE TEA PARTY:
NARRATOR – Rob Salerno
WENDY – Maya Woloszyn
JOAN – Megan Leach
NAGASAKI – Troy Patterson
FISHERMAN – David Occhipinti
Get to know writer Gregory Cole:
1. What is your stage play about?
The play is a satire about the trials and tribulations of America’s one percent, as well as the country’s obsession with guns. The Tea Party movement that arose in the US after 2008 is also satirized in the play, as the Republican party struggled to reconcile the aims of this rising faction with those of its wealthiest members.
2. Why should this play be performed on stage and seen by all?
I was greatly influenced by the great satires of Old Comedy by Aristophanes. It is important that a culture has the confidence to look at itself with a critical and humorous eye.
3. How long have you been writing stories?
I took up playwriting about 6 years ago when I joined Playwrights Theatre of Madison, NJ. I used to drive past the theatre on the way to the mall – as one does often in New Jersey – and I noticed a sign advertising “Adult Playwriting Classes.” It took me a few years before I pulled into the parking lot and signed up, but I’m glad I did. Afterwards, I became so obsessed with theatre that I took time off to return to graduate school, where I recently graduated from Montclair State University with an MA in Theatre Arts.
4. You’ll be happy to know that your play reading set the record for most takes we’ve ever had to do. Reason? Because everyone kept laughing so much at your lines and characters, especially at the end. It’s an extremely funny play. Reactions?
i love that! That is such a wonderful compliment. I love making people laugh. I never knew I had a knack for comedy until I took up playwriting. Although I hope that the comedy is more than spectacle and that the audience gets a glimpse of a world that they otherwise would not have the opportunity to see.
5. What artists would you love to work with?
Where do I start? Everyone from Maggie Smith to Meryl Streep to Simon McBurney.
6. How many stories/plays have you written?
The Tea Party is my second play. My first play is a satire with music called “Yiassou Meryl!” That play is difficult to produce because of the large cast – 16 characters – so I am currently working on a television treatment for it.
7. What motivated you to write this stageplay?
Many factors: the state of American politics, the gun culture, the antics of the one percent. John Pietrowski, the artistic director at Playwrights Theatre, said that I have a unique ability to make
fun of the wealthy without being mean about it.
8. Describe your process; do you have a set routine, method for writing?
I wish I had a method. I just write and let the story take me on a roller coaster ride. Then I workshop it at Playwrights Theatre and knock around some ideas with fellow playwrights. I never know how a story is going to end. The story takes on a life of its own. The hardest part is editing the story down. I have a habit of getting attached to most of the comedic lines.
9. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?
Animal welfare is a passion of mine. I enjoy my time I spend with my dog and horse. Another new passion is non-gmo food and the power of the food industry. I recently became a convert and my health has improved drastically.
10. What influenced you to enter the WILDsound Festival?
When i entered a previous piece, I was impressed by the feedback that I received. It was well thought out and very helpful.
11. Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?
Don’t stop writing and become a part of a larger community of fellow artists.
Deadline to Submit your 10pg Stageplay to the Festival: