(Laura Axelrod's note: This is the final segment of my interview with playwright and author Patrick Gabridge. See? I told you it was a mega-long interview. It was almost 4,000 words long. I'll post links to the various segments so you can revisit anything you might have missed.)
What do you like most about theater? What do you like most about writing books?
I love the collaborative nature of theater. There's nothing more fun to me than spending the day in the rehearsal room, working on a script with talented actors, directors, and designers. And then getting it in front of an audience, and seeing how the whole play transforms. I like the whole process: auditions, rehearsal, tech, and performance. The immediacy of theatre, the instantaneous feedback and give and take, thrills me. I'm been working in theatre a long time, but I still feel the electric tingle when the lights go down and the actors start performing one of my plays, with an audience sitting all around me.
I like theater people, too--they're a social bunch and fun to hang around with.
With books, I like how completely absorbing the process is. A novel requires so much discipline and mental strength, to sort of cram every element of the entire book into your head. When writing a novel, the writer is responsible for everything--you're the designer, actors, director, and playwright, all rolled into one. I like the challenge of it, though it also comes with freedom--I can call down tornadoes and destroy a city, or move characters all around the country in a bunch of different cities, or bury treasure deep in the woods. All of which I could do on stage, but some of those things are easier in a book. (I can have as big of a cast as I like.) I'm still feeling my way, when it comes to writing novels, though with #4, I'm gaining confidence (and patience--the darn things are so long, 100,000 words--they take a LOT longer to write).
Thanks for your time Pat!
Thanks for asking and for letting me share about my work and my process.