So, the title.
You may be wondering if I am applying an admittedly in-your-face label to someone in particular? To a certain character in the play maybe, or to someone from my own life? It could simply refer to a sculpture emerging in stone.
But as I myself do come from a complicated family, let’s start there.
Our communication was admittedly patchy at times, even though we are mostly all writers, and usually pretty good at expressing ourselves. Is there a play somewhere in there, I thought? Maybe they aren’t writers. That seemed too close for comfort and probably annoying to watch. Like paint drying. Paint? Maybe one’s an artist? A great artist who sculpts body parts? Which body part? Oh. That could work, if I dare.
I began writing this play around fifteen years ago, wanting to move away from romantic comedies, to try something intimate, theatrical, and thematically deeper. I thought of my own playwright-father’s advice to 1) write what you know, and 2) make sure there is conflict. I also thought about my favorite plays, all family-based stories, and so fashioned a family completely different than my own, while also being quite similar in how they behave badly. We at my house could be articulate grumblers and finger-pointers amid all the love. I wanted to try and walk the line between comedy and drama, to see how broadly I could amplify the funny while still being real. And I wanted to create a familiar dynamic similar to what I had experienced growing up, but to also find a story that took on a life of its own, grounded in outrage and truth, that also had to earn the cheeky title that I can’t even share with my own grandson!
My wish for you: hold on to your hats, and please enjoy…
Ellen spent her youth watching her father, playwright Neil Simon, work on Broadway before launching her own successful career as a screenwriter and playwright.