Stage Door Stories recently caught up with Mr. Kevin Curley to learn a little about him, what inspired him to write his One Act entitled “Brothers”, and the importance of following your dreams, with the help of a clairvoyant!
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I grew up in New Jersey as the fourth of five boys. My parents were Irish immigrants. My Dad knew the way to get ahead in the U.S. was through education and all five of us went to college.
What is your background in theater?
I had artistic leanings, but from my background, it wasn’t looked upon as a life’s work. Through trial and error, I became a book editor. One of my authors offered me the opportunity to go to Scotland to visit a remarkable community: Findhorn. Secretly, I didn’t want to go, but I couldn’t see how I could turn my back on a free trip to Europe. It, of course, changed my life and when I returned from living there for half a year, I was a new person. I needed a new direction, but what? I heard about a clairvoyant whose praises were being sung by a friend. I waited for almost a year for an appointment. He told me I belonged in the theatre as a writer. That sounded exciting and I managed to find a job with an Off Broadway company. I also took a playwriting course at the New School. I took the course because I knew one of the requirements would be to write a play.
In 1983, having written a few plays, and knowing I had the talent, I joined The Dramatists Guild. I had some success, but it was spotty and there were years where I didn’t send out a script and just worked at making a living. (Although I did write every Monday after I managed to wrangle a four day a week job)
In 2010, I had a great part time job working for Weill Cornell Medical College. I had full benefits and I was fortunate to be working for a female doctor who I hit it off with and is still a friend to this day. In the back of my mind though, I had that theatre dream. I wanted a chance to become a successful playwright and knowing, because of my age, I couldn’t put this off, I quit and began writing full time. It was the right decision, but only time will tell whether anything will come of it. Because of my playwriting and through the persuasion of a friend, I decided to take acting lessons. Being on stage plays me in a way nothing else does. I was terrified, but determined. Eventually with perseverance, I gained confidence and was able to lose myself in a role and become someone else. To pursue acting as a career, I am convinced you have to want it more than anything else. I didn’t have that drive, but it has helped me immeasurably as a playwright.
How did you find out about Stage Door Productions’ One Act Festival?
I heard about Stage Door Productions, as I do about so many opportunities, through nycplaywrights (http://nycp.blogspot.com), a remarkable blog put together by Nancy McClernan in New York City. I encourage any playwright who doesn’t know it to take a look at it.
What inspired or motivated you to write this One Act?
What came first in this particular play were the two characters: a middle aged woman and a young, but educated, construction worker. I played with it until I devised the story of the brother who we never see, but is talked about. The play came together when I hit on the idea of the young woman who comes out of the doctor’s office into the waiting room and we discover her connection to the young man and his family.
How did you feel upon the selection of your Act to be performed by Stage Door Productions?
I was, of course, delighted when I heard the play had been selected. I initially had been skeptical about ten minute plays until I saw how popular they were and began writing them in 2010. Since then, I have written upwards of 35 short plays and “Brothers” is one of the best.
What do you hope the audience takes away from your story?
I hope the audience will take home the importance of family and the willingness to allow members of the family to pursue their own goals, regardless of what others may think.
What doors do you expect to be opened for you from this selection and process?
One of the things any artist learns quickly is to have no expectations. (That is if you want to remain sane!) I have no idea what will happen tomorrow.
What’s next for you?
If I knew what was next, I would be pursuing it, but I haven’t a clue.
I hope you enjoy the play.
Be sure to check out Kevin Curley’s One Act “Brothers” on April 11th, 12th, and 13th at 7:30pm at the Central Rappahannock Regional Library on 1201 Caroline Street in Fredericksburg, Virginia!