New Jersey Stage
New Jersey Stage on social media


BIG NEWS! Here's the latest Issue of NJ Stage Magazine -- Click here

An interview with Robert Caisley

By Gary Wien


"Lucky Me", the latest work by playwright Robert Caisley, will be presented by New Jersey Repertory Company in Long Branch, NJ. The show runs from July 31 to August 31, 2014.

Sara Fine's having a bad week. The light bulbs in her apartment keep burning out; the aquarium is perpetually full of dead fish; the cat's gone AWOL, again, and her blind, elderly father -- who chased off her last beau -- is immediately suspicious of Tom, the new neighbor, a TSA agent who just brought Sara home from the emergency room on New Year's Eve with a fractured 5th metatarsal. As Tom's attraction to Sara intensifies, he learns of an increasingly bizarre streak of bad luck that's been haunting Sara for years – twenty two years to be precise.

Sara Fine sounds like an interesting character.
I've got some friends who think they are either lucky or unlucky and whenever I ask them to provide me with any evidence to support their theory, it seems like the same kinds of things that happen to me. So, I started thinking about a character who, in many ways, sort of wills herself to be the unfortunate, unlucky individual she claims to be.

But what we find out in the play is that its just coincidental. And all it takes is somebody to not be frightened off by her bad luck to sort of turn around her life.

I personally think this is a comedy, but it does have a dark side to it. I really wanted to write a play that was broader in its comic appeal and also had a real romantic center to it. I described it to myself as a romantic comedy.

So I thought about a woman that's incredibly unlucky -- not only in love, but in life in general -- and just design a series of bizarre things that happen to her that don't seem to happen to anyone else, and then introduce a love interest and see what happens when he tries to deal with the various issues she has.

NJ Rep is one of the theaters that really believes in and depends on producing new work. How important is it for a playwright to have theatres like that? Many theatres consider new works a harder sell.
Yeah, what's interesting about that is I teach theatre history at the University of Idaho and I'm still trying to figure out where in the history of theatre did we get this obsession with the distinction between new plays and plays that have been done before? Because I think the golden age of dramatic writing in the United Kingdom was during the Elizabethan period when Shakespeare was writing.

Shakespeare made his career on new plays and he was competing with a bunch of other playwrights who were writing insatiably to meet the demands of an audience who only wanted to see the next new play.

I'm not sure if it's the cost of theatre has become such that theatres have to market something other than the thing itself that they are producing, which is the story told in front of a live audience by live actors, or something else. Somewhere along the way, the theatre establishment made the audience adopt this prejudice towards a new play being something of a risk and an old chestnut being a guarantee of entertainment.

Personally, I've had some of my most thrilling experiences in the theater seeing something that's never been done before and I've had some of the most God awful experiences in the theatre seeing plays that for hundreds of years have been touted as tried and true classics!

It's absolutely vital that theatres like NJ Rep continue to have a robust production calendar. I only wish more professional theatre companies took the same view of new work and were excited by new work as opposed to being nervous or cautious or daunted by the fact that they've never heard of the play or the playwright.

NJ Rep is a particularly great theatre for playwrights like myself to collaborate with because they not only do new work, but they do them really well. And they market them to the audience like "It you don't see it now, you're going to miss the chance to see it for the very first time." Plus many plays have gone on to have an afterlife beyond NJ Rep.



For more by this author, click here




More Articles You Might Like

The Simon & Garfunkel Story Comes To The Basie On January 23
The Simon & Garfunkel Story Comes To The Basie On January 23
Casting Announced For "Jersey Boys" at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City
Casting Announced For "Jersey Boys" at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City
East Lynne Theater Company presents The NJ Premiere Of "Summerland"
East Lynne Theater Company presents The NJ Premiere Of "Summerland"
NJ Rep Presents The World Premiere of "Voyager One"
NJ Rep Presents The World Premiere of "Voyager One"
​​​​​​​East Lynne Theater Company Presents 30th Season of "Tales of the Victorians"
​​​​​​​East Lynne Theater Company Presents 30th Season of "Tales of the Victorians"
Light Opera of New Jersey Presents "Ragtime, the Musical" at SOPAC
Light Opera of New Jersey Presents "Ragtime, the Musical" at SOPAC






Event calendar
Friday, Jul 19, 2019


MUSIC

FREE CONCERT - THE GREEN PLANET at THOMAS SWEET ICE CREAM in PRINCETON @ THOMAS SWEET ICE CREAM, , Princeton - 7:00pm

The Boy Band Project @ Avenel Performing Arts Center, Avenel - 8:00pm

KIDZ BOP World Tour 2019 @ BB&T Pavilion, Camden - 7:00pm

The National Theatre: Hamlet @ Pollak Theatre @ Monmouth University, West Long Branch - 7:00pm


THEATRE

Big Fish the Musical @ Barn Theatre, Montville - 7:30pm

Legally Blonde, the musical @ Hamilton Stage @ Union County Performing Arts Center (UCPAC), Rahway - 7:30pm

Ragtime, The Musical @ South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC), South Orange - 8:00pm

Romeo & Juliet and Othello in Rep @ Black Box PAC, Teaneck - 8:00pm

OCC Repertory Theatre Company Presents: Into the Woods @ Jay & Linda Grunin Center For The Arts At Ocean County College, Toms River - 7:30pm

The Wake @ Premiere Stages at Kean University - Bauer Boucher Theatre Center, Union - 8:00pm

Luna The Play @ Luna Stage, West Orange - 11:00am







COMEDY

Billy Gardell @ The Newton Theatre, Newton - 8:00pm


FILM

Classic Film Series on 35mm: Forrest Gump @ Mainstage @ Union County Performing Arts Center (UCPAC), Rahway - 8:00pm


KIDS

Disney's The Aristocats KIDS @ The Levoy Theatre, Millville - 8:00pm

View all events

























New Jersey Stage © 2019 by Wine Time Media, LLC | PO Box 140, Spring Lake, NJ 07762 (732) 280-7625 | info@newjerseystage.com

Images used on this site have been sent to us from publicists, artists, and PR firms.
If there is a problem with the rights to any image, please contact us and we will look into the matter.