From the Playwright
Write about yourself. Write about yourself. Everyone always says this, and I have never been able to, outright, because every play is autobiography, at least of what I’m thinking about and who I know and what I observe about them. And myself. So even when I write a play about a gal named Thornton and a guy named Ricky, and they live in a suburb called Skokie, where I grew up, in houses that look amazingly similar to the ones I knew as a kid, I am Thornton, but I am Ricky too. And I am Mrs. Witcoff and Mrs. Edelman, and L.C. and Mrs. Major, because the real people influenced me, shaped me with their friendship and their stories, and made me who I am. So I am all of this, and that is how and why OUR SUBURB came to be.
Having seen and studied Thornton Wilder’s OUR TOWN pretty much all my life, I realized at the last production I saw that there was a play in the concept of the suburb, and all it embodied for the people living there, and what better way to explore that than to dig into it the way Wilder did, and to respond to his play. In the 20th century, the suburb replaced Grover’s Corners, and what does this mean? Was it really a safe, boring place? What center held it? Did it even have a center? I always thought Skokie was centerless, “there-less”, until I started to think about writing this play and realized what an enormous world we embodied just by living across the street from each other in a place that felt disconnected from everything else. And how much I was a part of it by being someone who, despite every intent, loved it.
- Darrah Cloud