For Day 5 of the Creativity and COVID-19 Project we check in with my old friend, the fabulous playwright and actor Richard Broadhurst. As a bonus to all of us on lockdown, Richard has graciously agreed to let me post his recent one-man show, Cock Tales: The Long and the Short of It. It’s funny, poignant and, as with all of Richard’s writing, heartfelt and intelligent. I highly recommend it!
OM: How has this situation impacted you and your family? Hopefully you are all safe and well.
Broadhurst: Our family hasn’t been impacted that much…yet. This will change when summer comes. We have two grandchildren who live in Alabama and it’s looking more and more like we won’t be able to visit them this summer. That saddens me a great deal. So far, my wife and I are doing pretty well. It’s interesting being with someone 24/7. You have to find creative ways to provide one another with “alone” time. Fortunately we’re both big walkers. These days we like going on solo walks.
OM: How is this impacting your creativity? Is it helping you be more creative, less so or having no impact at all?
Broadhurst: I’m not sure how my creativity is being impacted. Writers tend to be loners, regardless. So, for the time being, it feels a lot like business as usual. What I do need and miss is contact with other writers. While I can do some of that on line, I really enjoy coffee get togethers. It gives us a chance to share experiences and talk through problems we may be having with our work. I find face to face interaction much more helpful than on-line interaction. The other area I miss and that is vital to my playwriting are readings of my material. Public readings are a vital part of my process and they’re impossible these days.
OM: What are you doing to stay positive during all this? Have you had to change any of your writing routines?
Broadhurst: Just writing helps keep me positive. My routine hasn’t changed a great deal. If anything I may be writing more. One thing I try to avoid is thinking about when this will all end and how it may affect the theatre. I suspect that (until there’s a vaccine and some sorts of treatments) it will be a good period of time before people will be comfortable going to live theatre. Maybe it’s time for me to start writing that novel my friends have bugged me about for years.
OM: Do you have any new or current projects I can tell people about?
Broadhurst: I DID have a project I was excited about, but that’s been put on hold. It’s actually a film project that looked promising for the fall, but it looks like it won’t happen. Of course it could be pushed back, but the film business has also been incredibly impacted and once a production is cancelled it can be difficult to get it up and running a second time. Fingers crossed. I was also scheduled to reprise my solo piece “Cock Tales” at a few different theatres–one in Sacramento, another in L.A., as well as a third theatre in North Carolina. Ah well…that’s show biz.