Jeff Hatcher Free Q&A on Collaboration May 15

posted by Carlyn Aquiline, Literary Manager and Dramaturg

Playwright Jeffrey Hatcher will be doing a Q & A this Saturday May 15 on “Collaboration,” especially his collaboration with Eric Simonson on the writing of Louder Faster, which opens Friday at City Theatre. Hatcher’s discussion is part of a day-long exploration on the theme of “Collaboration” being offered by the Dramatists Guild (the professional association of playwrights, composers, lyricists, and librettists) in City Theatre’s Rehearsal Hall.

These events are free and open to the public—please attend any and all discussions, and freely pass along the information to anyone who may be interested or benefit from the conversations.

Here is the announcement and schedule from the Dramatists Guild:

ALL ARE WELCOME at the Dramatists Guild Town Hall Meeting being held on Saturday, May 14 at City Theatre Company, 1300 Bingham Street (at the corner of 13th and Bingham, one block off Carson towards the river) on Pittsburgh’s Historic Southside. All events will take place in City Theatre’s Rehearsal Hall, located in the theatre’s Charles M. Morris Building.

Beginning at 10:00 am, Gary Garrison, DG Director of Creative Affairs, and Roland Tec, DG Director of Membership, will lead the Town Hall Meeting for Guild Members and Playwrights, and will participate in a day-long conversation on the theme of “Collaboration.”

At 11:00 am award-winning playwright Jeffrey Hatcher will talk in a Q&A moderated by Gary Garrison on the subject of his collaboration with co-writer Eric Simonson on LOUDER FASTER. Premiering this weekend at City Theatre, LOUDER FASTER (a City Theatre commission) is a new comedy by Hatcher and Simonson set in 1937 that places famed comic playwright George S. Kaufman—who was Pittsburgh born and bred—at the center of his own Kaufman-like plot. When Harpo Marx bets Kaufman—also known as “The Great Collaborator”—that he can’t write a play by himself, the famed dramatist returns to his childhood home to cure his writer’s block, only to find himself foiled at every turn by slamming doors, mistaken identities, and a hilarious assortment of eccentric locals.

See full bios for Hatcher and Simonson below, at end of announcement.

At 12:00 noon, Carlyn Aquiline, Literary Manager and Dramaturg at City Theatre, and Amy Hartman, DG member and Pittsburgh-based playwright, will discuss the playwright/dramaturg relationship. Roland Tec will moderate.

At 2:00 pm, there will be a conversation with a local panel of collaborators which will include Gary Garrison and Roland Tec (The Rubber Room), Jeanne Drennan and David Berlin (Dear Boy), Kyle Bostian and Gab Cody (Casino Liberty), and Anya Martin (Hiawatha Project).

Hope you will join us for what will surely be a great opportunity to learn about collaborations in Pittsburgh and beyond, and perhaps begin a new collaboration of your own.


Both Jeffrey Hatcher and Eric Simonson have extensive writing and production experience in both the not-for-profit and commercial theatre, as well as in television and film. Hatcher is an award-winning playwright, musical bookwriter, screenwriter, and adaptor, whose works have been seen on Broadway, in regional theatres, and on movie theatre and TV screens internationally. Previously for City Theatre, he wrote Compleat Female Stage Beauty, which was adapted into the film Stage Beauty directed by Richard Eyre and starring Claire Danes and Billy Crudup (screenplay by Hatcher), and Mercy of a Storm. City Theatre has also produced his stage adaptations of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Tuesdays with Morrie (a collaboration with Mitch Albom), and his plays Murderers, A Picasso, and Work Song: Three Views of Frank Lloyd Wright, his first collaboration with Eric Simonson. Simonson is an award-winning writer and director of plays, opera, TV, and film, whose works have been seen at regional theatres, including Steppenwolf where he is a company member, on movie screens internationally—he is an Academy Award-winning filmmaker, and on Broadway—his play Lombardi is currently running there. Previously for City Theatre, he wrote and directed Speak American, and directed Michele Lowe’s String of Pearls. City Theatre also produced his play Work Song: Three Views of Frank Lloyd Wright, a collaboration with Jeff Hatcher.

Jeffrey Hatcher bio: BROADWAY:  “Never Gonna Dance” (book).  OFF-BROADWAY:  “Three Viewings” and “A Picasso” at Manhattan Theatre Club; “Scotland Road” and “The Turn of the Screw” at Primary Stages; “Tuesdays with Morrie (with Mitch Albom) at The Minetta Lane; “Murder by Poe,”  “The Turn of the Screw,” and “The Spy” at The Acting Company; “Neddy” at American Place; and “Fellow Travelers” at Manhattan Punchline.  OTHER PLAYS/THEATERS:  “Compleat Female Stage Beauty,” “Mrs. Mannerly,” “Murderers,” “Ella,” “Mercy of a Storm,”  “Smash,” “Armadale,” “Korczak’s Children,” “To Fool the Eye,” “The Falls,” “A Piece of the Rope,” “All the Way with LBJ,” “The Government Inspector,” “John Gabriel Borkman,””Cousin Bette,”  “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” and others at The Guthrie, Old Globe, Yale Rep, The Geffen, Seattle Rep, Cincinnati Playhouse, Cleveland Playhouse, CATCO, South Coast Rep, Arizona Theater Company, San Jose Rep, The Empty Space, Indiana Rep, Children’s Theater Company, History Theater, Madison Rep, Intiman, Illusion,  Denver Center, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Milwaukee Rep, Repertory Theater of St. Louis, Actors Theater of Louisville, Philadelphia Theater Company, Commonweal Theater,  Asolo, City Theater, Studio Arena and dozens more in the U.S. and abroad.  FILM/ TV:  “Stage Beauty,” “Casanova,”  “The Duchess” and episodes of “Columbo.”  GRANTS/AWARDS:  NEA, TCG, Lila Wallace Fund, Rosenthal New Play Prize, Frankel Award, Charles MacArthur Fellowship Award, Edgerton Grant, McKnight Foundation, Jerome Foundation, Barrymore Award Best New Play (“A Picasso”), and L.A. Critics Circle Award Best Adaptation(“Cousin Bette”). He is a member and/or alumnus of The Playwrights Center, the Dramatists Guild, the Writers Guild, and New Dramatists.

Eric Simonson bio: Writer and director Eric Simonson recently directed RUSALKA for Colorado Opera. Other directing credits include GRAPES OF WRATH at Pittsburgh Opera and Carnegie Hall; numerous plays for Steppenwolf Theatre; and productions at The Huntington Theatre, Milwaukee Rep, Primary Stages in NY, Court Theatre in Chicago, LA Theatre Works, The Kennedy Center, City Theatre in Pittsburgh, Seattle Rep, and San Jose Rep. His production of THE SONG OF JACOB ZULU played on Broadway and received six Tony Awards including Best Director. His film directing credits include documentaries A NOTE OF TRIUMPH: THE GOLDEN AGE OF NORMAN CORWIN (Academy Award) ON TIPTOE (Academy Award nomination), and STUDS TERKEL: LISTENING TO AMERICA, all of which aired on HBO. Playwriting credits include LOMBARDI (currently running on Broadway), BANG THE DRUM SLOWLY, WORK SONG (co-written with Jeff Hatcher), HONEST, and FAKE. Mr. Simonson is a member of Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science, and unions SDC, WGA and SAG. He is the recipient of the Princess Grace Statue Award for sustained artistic achievement, a Jefferson Citation, City Theatre’s own Frankel Award for new play development; and an Emmy nomination and International Documentary Award for his film ON TIPTOE.


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