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Interview with Playwright David Scaglione

I think as a playwright I know the power of good direction and design, I know I’ve got a great director in Phillip Brickey for this show. I try to write plays that directors are challenged by and designers are allowed an open enough context to design. Without trying to sound self-defeating, I’m not worried by anything technical theatre-wise; let others figure that out, as long as I can write freely.

This fall I’ve adapted The Bacchae for puppets for the second faculty slot in the fall at Orange Coast College. I’m not a big fan of directing my own work, it’s rather myopic, but the bunraku-type and shadow puppet aspect of the storytelling is exciting to me. Some people may not like my translation of the play but I found most versions I’ve read, so far, have come across like stereo instructions, and not a stimulating story of vengeance and human folly. I am hoping that the play will be more about humankind than the gods, after all the plays are watched and performed by humans and not gods.

The one aspect that excites me about working at Orange Coast College Theatre Arts is the “hands-on” approach the department has towards all aspects of theatre. Undergraduate students can write and direct work that most theatre majors don’t get to do until they are almost done with college. Our students go into the professional theatre, such as playwrights like Sharr White who has had plays on Broadway and is presently working on his first feature film shooting in New York. Matter of fact, one of the playwrights in the OC-centric one-act program is a former OCC theatre student, Leonard Joseph Dunham.

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