One for the Late American Drama class

What questions do you want to ask Wayne Self about Upstairs?

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11 Responses to One for the Late American Drama class

  1. Wayne Self says:

    Thanks to Dr. E’s class for asking such astute and challenging questions. I really appreciate that!

    A few answers to the things here that didn’t get asked in class:

    – The closest to violence or threats that I got actually came from the gay community. Some people threatened to disrupt the play if it turned out that it was disrespectful or made light of the tragedy or its victims. I found that to be fair and understandable. I was an outsider dealing with an event that had not been given any treatment artistically. It had been put in the category of “things we just don’t talk about” and I was not only talking but putting on a show. The ringleader of that group actually became one of the play’s biggest supporters, once he realized what I was about.

    – I doubt that Broadway is in our future, for this play, but one never knows. Thousands of plays clamor for that. I would be happy to have a touring production that hits local and regional theatres.

  2. Patel says:

    Did he lose anyone at the tragic event in New Orleans?

  3. Yousef Abu-Salah says:

    While I am not currently in the Late American Drama class, I just wanted to put in a few words on the subject. I have recently watched Upstairs online, and I must say that it was certainly an eye-opening experience. I had no idea of the tragedy that occurred to those thirty-two people, and I was genuinely shocked by the lack of information when I tried to research the subject. If I could ask Wayne Self anything about Upstairs, I would ask the following questions:

    Where did you first hear of the Upstairs lounge Fire?

    What inspired you to provide awareness of this tragedy through a musical?

    What was the most difficult aspect of creating Upstairs?

    Is Broadway next?

    Thank you for letting me engage in this conversation. Thanks a ton Dr. E!! 🙂

  4. Rosie Andrews says:

    How did it feel to watch your play being acted out? Did it meet your expectations? What would you change?

    What inspired the musical aspect of Upstairs?

    Which character do you relate to the most and why?

    Who is your favorite character and why?

    What is your favorite line from the play and why?

  5. Samuel Patterson III says:

    What problems did you face producing the play and how did you overcome it?

  6. Jagger Riggle says:

    What made you decide to become an activist playwright as opposed to a “normal” playwright?

    What plays do you plan on doing in the future?

    What inspired you to do a play about this particular event?

    What inspired you to do Upstairs as a musical, and how hard was it to do so?

  7. Kamal Bhalla says:

    Have you ever had a problem with violence/threats because of Upstairs?

    Do you plan to write plays with similar themes?

    How long did it take to write Upstairs? Was it difficult to write a musical?

    Was there something that made you write Upstairs?

    Do you plan/want to make schools teach Upstairs?

    What was your criteria for choosing the actors for Upstairs?

    Are the actors in the play also gay?

    If you had to choose, which of the characters does Dr. Easterling identity with the most in your perspective?

  8. Sabrina Solomon says:

    What other plays have you written or started to write? How much more difficult is it to write a musical rather than a play?

  9. Maggie Ellis says:

    Why were you inspired to write about the events of the Upstairs Lounge fire?

  10. Brianna Ladnier says:

    Why did you decide to have the victims forgive Agneau?

  11. Leigh Motes says:

    Does he want to take the play to Broadway?

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