My interview for this issue is with playwright Mac Wellman. Over the course of his nearly 50 year career as a writer, Wellman has taken the form of playwriting and bounced it around the room like a kid with a Super Ball. He is prolific, his voice unmistakable, his plays feats of contemporary playwriting, a modern-day Beckett.
The term living your best life is an identity concept which seems rampant on social mediathis idea that whatever we might be doing with ourselves, living ones best life is completely in our own hands; it is a readily available utopia should we choose to live it. For Tien, this play came from the process of seeing this concept of a best life against the backdrop of the real racial and economic divides which were being heavily reported in the media while she was writing.
Upon first witnessing this work in 2012 I was immediately disoriented by the specificity of the world. As if walking in on the middle of the narrative, I kept asking myself, Am I missing something? Not that I didnt feel cared for, but that, by design, it didnt matter which part of the story I enteredthe audience is a welcome addition at any point in the ever-expanding world of the OZET.
The Obie and Lucille Lortel award-winning theater company started out in 1989 producing solely the work of Filipino American writers; while that has evolved, so has the theaters definition of what a Ma-Yi play is. And thats a strength: in a company whose ethos and blessings are fortified by its creators, each new playwright brings with themto Ma-Yis numerous productions and artistic programstheir own world and experiences to expand and delight the companys evolving landscape of thought-provoking, envelope-pushing American plays.