Lee Wochner: Writer. Director. Writing instructor. Thinker about things.


hot and young vs. cool and old

South Coast Rep just mailed me a postcard for the world premiere of Five Mile Lake by Rachel Bonds. Here’s the description:

“Jamie enjoys a quiet life in his small Pennsylvania town, fixing up his grandfather’s old lake house and pining after Mary, his troubled coworker. But when his brother comes back to town with a new girlfriend, Jamie’s peaceful world is turned upside down. A tender story about those who stay and those who go away — by one of the country’s hottest young writers.”

It’s a long drive down to Costa Mesa, although I’ve done it often enough when it was a play or playwright that interested me. This doesn’t sound like one of those times. But here’s what I find annoying: when they bill someone as “one of the country’s hottest young writers” — I’ve seen this before — as though young is an advantage of some sort. It’ll be better somehow because the playwright is young. (Which makes me wonder just why Shakespeare and Beckett are done so frequently, because they’re not only old, they’re also dead.) Now I’d like to see someone do the new play by, say, Sam Shepard and bill it as “by one of the country’s coolest old writers.”

One Response to “hot and young vs. cool and old”

  1. Lefty Joe Says:

    …this last quote of yours resonates as a future trend…there will come a time during the passing away of the entire baby boom generation, perhaps in the first trimester of that bell shaped curve of the death cycle – that will be seen frequently. Suddenly the “Pepsi Generation” (google this), will be HIP in the 20XX’s. Playing in my head: “The other night we went to see Sam’s play
    Doin’ the things that we want to…
    It was very physical, it held you to the stage” – Lou Reed

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