Other Plays by Stephen Belber
Belber, Stephen (American playwright, 19__-____), “Wind,”
a 47-minute bare-stage drama in English, set in _____, _____,
(1-9 m and/or f possible)
© ____ by Stephen Belber;
• in Stephen Belber’s Wind (New York: Playscripts, Inc., ____);
• Cited in Playscripts, Inc., Catalogue of Plays 2007-2008 (New York: Playscripts, Inc., 2007), p. __; Belber says,
Woman (f), __, searcher for her ideal.
"A woman searches for her ideal in an elusive yachtsman, who compels her on a lonely quest across America to regain his mysterious love.”—Playscripts, Inc. - Stephen Belber, http://www.playscripts.com/, accessed February 18, 2006.
• “Some adult content.
• “Stephen Belber's plays include Match (Broadway), McReele (Roundabout), Tape (Naked Angels—NYC/LA/London), Carol Mulroney (Huntington Theater), One Million Butterflies (Primary Stages), Drifting Elegant (Magic Theater), The Transparency of Val (Theater Outrageous, NYC), The Wake (Via Theater, NYC), Through Fred (Soho Rep) and The Death of Frank (Araca Group, NYC). Stephen wrote the screenplay for Tape, directed by Richard Linklater (Sundance; Berlin). He is a member of Tectonic Theater Project and was an Associate Writer (and actor) for The Laramie Project, later made into an HBO movie (Emmy nomination for screenwriting). Graduate of Juilliard's Playwrights Program, commissions from Manhattan Theater Company, Playwrights Horizons, The Huntington Theater, Arena Stage and Philadelphia Theater Company. TV credits include Rescue Me and Law & Order, SVU (staff writer). His play Drifting Elegant, was shot as a movie this past summer, and he is currently working on several studio film projects. Upcoming: A Small, Melodramatic Story, to be produced by the Labrynth Theater Company at the Public Theater, fall 2006.” — Playscripts, Inc. - Stephen Belber, http://www.playscripts.com/, accessed February 18, 2006.
• Research could include Naomi Pfefferman’s interview with the playwright. “Stephen Belber is sitting in a cafe next door to the Coast Playhouse, now showing his noir drama ‘Tape,’ charmingly professing he’s not the world’s greatest playwright. Never mind that ‘Tape" — which was turned into a 2001 Richard Linklater film starring Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman and Robert Sean Leonard — is being compared to the work of Sam Shepherd and Edward Albee. ‘That’s just silly," says the warm, athletic, boyish-looking author. ‘Put any Sam Shepherd play next to “Tape,” and it’s just laughable.’ If Belber exudes a kind of ex-high school jock charm, so do his characters. In ‘Tape,’ two old buddies reunite to banter and rehash whether one date-raped the other’s girlfriend (Alison West) in high school. Vin (Dominic Fumusa), an Italian American drug dealer, isn’t above secretly taping their conversation; Jon (Josh Stamberg), a Jewish filmmaker, spews ethnic slurs but says ‘I can’t be a bigot — I’m a Jew.’ ‘Actually there’s a lot of privilege and entitlement both these guys feel,’ says Belber, 35, who has a non-Jewish mother but celebrates the Jewish holidays with his father’s family in Atlantic City. ‘I know from personal experience that when you’re a high school football player, you can get away with murder. You can charm your way out of anything. It’s that particular kind of male charm.’ While ‘Tape’ isn’t autobiographical, Belber clearly understands the rivalry between his protagonists. ‘My high school best friend, who’s now a firefighter, was the captain of the football team while I was the nice, OK player,’ says Belber, who wrote ‘Tape’ for fellow athlete-artists Stamberg and Fumusa. ‘I was also in love with his girlfriend for two years. I always felt second fiddle, and I wanted to write about how things transform over the years and how the dynamics of the relationship change.’ Part of ‘Tape’s’ inspiration was even more personal: ‘I have a lot of white-male guilt,’ Belber confides reddening slightly. ‘About acting like a misogynist pig, probably, though I’m not a misogynist. About making my share of homophobic remarks. There are a lot of things I’d done I wish I hadn’t. that come from a place of white-male privilege.’ The change came when as he moved to New York to become an actor and playwright, and took a roommate — a gay man who was dying of AIDS. ‘I was so naive, I didn’t initially realize he was sick,’ says Belber, who is married and has a 2-year-old son. ‘I ended up helping to nurse him for two years until he died.’ About eight years later — a month after the homophobic murder of Matthew Shepard — Belber headed off to Laramie, Wyo., with a tape recorder in hand. As one of three associate writers on Moisés Kaufman’s ‘The Laramie Project,’ an ambitious play about the murder, his primary goal was interviewing the killers’ friends and relatives. ‘Some of them called me a “fag-lover” or slammed doors in my face,’ he says. ‘But I was very curious to find out the perpetrators’ side of the story. I felt like I understood these guys; they were identifiable men to me, and yet they were foreign as hell. I wanted to know, “How did they become capable of doing something like this, and where did they differ from me?”’ Belber never got his answer, even when he managed to sneak into the Laramie jail to interview one of the killers, Aaron McKinney, (a novice guard didn’t protest when he nonchalantly scribbled his name on the visitors’ list). "But the experience made me think about issues of culpability, denial and the desire to apologize, which I went on to explore in “Tape,”’ he says. Adds Stamberg, who has known Belber since grade school, ‘Stephen understands what we call the ‘dude factor’ — the play deals with guys trying to move beyond high school and college and redefine themselves.’ These days, Belber — who’s writing plays between ‘Law & Order’ episodes — is working on screenplay about another man obsessed with taping the truth. His protagonist is based on researcher Gregg Rickman, who led the team that uncovered the Swiss banking controversy several years ago. ‘I’d like the main character, like Rickman, to be a Jewish guy who has gotten away from his religion, but searching for the [Nazi gold] brings him back,’ Belber says. ‘I kind of feel the same way. This project is bringing me a bit closer to my Jewish roots.’”—JewishJournal.com, http://www.jewishjournal.com/home/preview.php?id=8433, accessed August 25, 2007.
America, ideal, quest. search.