Playwright Crystal Skillman took a moment to talk about her recent new, full length play at the IRT Theater, “Wild,” produced by Sanguine Theatre Company.
by: Marcina Zaccaria
“Wild” originally premiered in Chicago. “The show is about the struggle of what commitment means today and looking for connection,” according to Skillman.
The play was originally commissioned by Kid Brooklyn Productions, and it looks at love, friendship, and betrayal. The plot follows Peter and Bobby who graduated from Northwestern together, and the playwright calls it a relationship oriented play. Skillman says, “I loved writing about these guys. It’s not a cruel relationship. They want things and care about things.”
In the play, Peter and Bobby live together, work together, and sleep together. But when one of them cheats with a woman, their world becomes radically changed. The cast includes Jeff Ronan, Joshua Levine, Diana Stahl, Lyonel Reneau, and David Armanino, and Hunter Canning, who was in the Broadway production of “War Horse.”
The play is set on a beach on Lake Michigan. This is a far reach from the waterfront in New York City near where the IRT Theater is located. In terms of inspiration about the location of the drama, Skillman said that Director Evan F. Caccioppoli, who originally commissioned the work, was “starting to talk to me about a beach in Chicago because a beach reflects all of it. Somebody’s got a city right there.”
Skillman was able to see the show when it debuted in Chicago two years ago, and she thought it was “incredible.” Skillman said, “It was a new direction to me. To have so many people love it and get great reviews was exciting. It was evocative and wonderful.”
Skillman has had several plays produced in New York City and is the award-winning author of “Geek” (Vampire Cowboys last spring, NY Times and TONY Critics Pick), “Cut,” (The Management in Spring 2011, New York Times Critic’s Pick); and “Vigil, or The Guided Cradle” (ITG/Brick, 2010 New York Innovative Theatre Award for Outstanding Full-Length Script).
The most recent production of “Wild” was also directed by Evan F. Caccioppoli and is currently running until April 6th with Sanguine Theatre Company, a company in residence at IRT. About the New York production, Skillman says, “I always hope for a full house every night. It’s an intimate space, but not in your face, but it’s very interesting. You go and you feel like you’re in it, but you have space too. It’s really exciting that every seat is filled every night.”
Skillman looks forward to upcoming projects, after the run of “Wild” ends on April 6, including a new musical called “The Concrete Jungle”, with composer and co-book writer Bobby Cronin, and a project about female rock stars called “Another Kind of Love.” There will be a talkback for “Wild” with Crystal Skillman, Director Evan F. Caccioppoli, Abigail Katz of Atlantic Theater Company, Martin Denton of Indie Theater Now and the producers of the show at 10PM on Friday, March 28th following the performance.
Performances of “Wild” continue through April 6th, Thursday through Saturday, at the IRT Theater located at 154 Christopher Street, between Washington and Greenwich Street. Tickets are $15 in advance and are available at www.brownpapertickets.com or by calling 800-838-3006.
Photos: Louise Lee