Nat Cassidy in "Generic Magic Realism" - United Solo Festival
An Interview with Ed Malin

Indie Theater Now asked Ed Malin a few questions about his play Generic Magic Realism.

What’s this play about? Please give us a brief synopsis (a sentence or two) and also talk about what you believe to be the most important theme(s) in the play.

The question here is what makes the Southern Hemisphere so magical. Contrasting that fabled place with San Francisco in the late 1960s yielded enjoyable answers about any voyage of self-discovery. Fortunately, it is possible to approach a new home with genuine enthusiasm, and to get lost between realities.

Why did you want to write about this subject/theme?

I love magic realism, especially South American literature of a certain age. There is often political upheaval lurking in the background of these stories. Writing 40-50 years later, I want to contrast the joys of the 1960s with what was soon to come.

How did you decide what names to give the characters in this play?

Octavio is given this name by his parents, who hope someday he will be able to sing an octave of notes. Living in a magical place isn't enough; there's always something to which we aspire. I think the rest of us humans can relate to this.

Describe your writing process. Do you write longhand, on a computer, a tablet? Do you write every day? Do you outline the play beforehand?

This one-man, multi-character show came out best when I took down observations on a portable voice recorder. Octavio had a lot to say, so it was every day during this process. Some goats were present.

Is there a character in this play that you particularly identify with? Which one, and why?

Octavio is nice but his sailor friend, Schwartz, has some big things to say. At one point, he turns into a seagull ("feygele") and flies away to San Francisco. I think a lot of doing this circa 1969.

posted September 12, 2015