My play Debriefing at the New York Fringe Festival.
An Interview with Max Gill

Indie Theater Now asked Max Gill a few questions about his play Debriefing.

Who were the key figures who made this production happen—could be other artists, people who inspired the story, producers/producing company, etc.

This production would not be possible without my producing team: Ego Actus and White Rabbit. Joan Kane, Bruce Kraemer, and Andrew Rothkin have put in an immense amount of work to put a talented cast and crew together to bring my play "Debriefing" to the stage. For creative inspiration I have to credit John le Carré, whose work taught me how to use a simple spy yarn to illuminate the human condition.

Why is this a play, as opposed to a film or a web series or a novel (or anything else)? And what is it about live theater that attracts you most, that keeps you revved and jazzed to work in this form?

Characters and their words, choices, and interactions are the most significant elements of the play. Any other medium would bring in other visuals or description that would distract from what I feel are the crucial components. Live theater has an energy that cannot be fully conveyed by film or video. I love watching movies and TV as much as anybody else, but I think there is a good reason why live drama has been with us since the time of the Greeks.

Who taught you how to be a playwright? This could be specific teachers, or role models whose work you’ve seen or read, or of course any combination.

I have a degree in writing, but playwriting I pretty much learned by doing and paying close attention to how people who do it well do it.

What have you learned about this play as it has evolved from first draft to the present version? And what has surprised you in this current production-what did you discover in the work that you didn’t realize was there?

The play began as a fairly straight-forward thriller but became more character focused and thematically rich the more I worked on it. I always intended it to be rather intense, but I have been taken aback by how intense and involving it actually is when inhabited by this talented group of actors.

Without giving away any important surprises—what moment or moments do you most look forward to when you see this play being performed?

My main character Aliya has a soliloquy describing a key event that changed her outlook on things. Every time actress Nazli Sarpkaya delivers it, I get chills.

posted July 20, 2016