Sunday, March 8, 2009

Quick Questions - Greg Machlin '02

Q: Now that you're all grown up, are you doing what you thought you'd be doing?
A: I don't know if I'd describe myself as "fully grown up" yet, but... Yes and no. I always thought (since I first caught the acting bug at age 12) I'd be involved in theatre & film in some way, but I didn't know I'd be pursuing playwriting to the extent I have, since I didn't really get involved in the writing side of things until my junior year at Brown, and I wouldn't have guessed I'd be able to meet and work with so many cool people while getting my work produced. And I couldn't have predicted teaching chess to K-5th graders--a very enjoyable side job. When the kindergartners aren't trying to eat the pieces.

Q. What are you working on now?
A: Most recently, my play "7 Days: A Fantasia on the Life of Miles Davis" had a sold-out run at the University of Iowa in January of this year. In May of 2008, I received my MFA from Iowa, and in August moved out to LA. to continue playwriting and pursue TV writing; last year I was commissioned to adapt a cult classic film from the 1960s for the stage. My short play "Family Portrait" was a Heideman Finalist at the Actors Theatre of Louisville in 2008, and "Bloody Lies" was produced in the Midtown International Theatre Festival in 2007, where it was a finalist for "Best New Script." My work has been published by Smith & Kraus ("60 Seconds to Shine IV") and broadcast on NPR (his radio play "Who Killed Harry Park?") I have a spec TV pilot called "Greg Machlin's Absurdities" I'm currently submitting to places, about a writer who works in a bookstore; his fictional characters keep coming to life and wreaking havoc on his life, including the mad scientist supervillain he created a few years back. Also at Iowa, I would perform dementedly funny monologues by a writer named Jake Gontero; you can watch one of them, "Litterbox Greg," here. And I recently put a website up where you can download some of my plays:

Q: How did Brown help you get where you are?
A: It was at Brown where I had the chance to take writing classes with great instructors--Laura Zam, Ruth Margraff, Aishah Rahman--and hone my storytelling in great film and video classes with Tony Cokes and Lodge Kerrigan. The theatre department was a very welcome home, I learned an immense amount from Spencer, Lowry, and John; I learned the importance of hard work and discipline while still having space to express my creativity. And I made some connections with people I'm still friends with and have worked with since Brown, among them Kent Roberts '01.5: we collaborated on a TV pilot called "The Kent Show." (You can watch part of it here) I'm always looking to connect with fellow Brown alums; drop me a line at

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