I don't think I've ever written anything even remotely naturalistic. The closest probably would be seen as 'Frankie and Johnny,' and that's only 'cause they eat a sandwich and make an omelet in act two. But it's a romantic fairy tale, and I'm very aware of that. I don't think it helps the actors in my plays to lose themselves in the reality of talking to another person. A good McNally actor always knows he's in a play with an audience.
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Work with good directors. Without them your play is doomed. At the time of my first play, I thought a good director was someone who liked my play. I was rudely awakened from that fantasy when he directed it as if he loathed it. . . . Work with good actors. A good actor hears the way you (and no one else) write. A good actor makes rewrites easy. A good actor tells you things about your play you didn't know.
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Cheating is not the American way. It is small, while we are large. It is cheap, while we are richly endowed. It is destructive, while we are creative. It is doomed to fail, while our gifts and responsibilities call us to achieve. It sabotages trust and weakens the bonds of spirit and humanity, without which we perish.
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