Q: Why did you choose California for the setting? Could it just as likely have been set in NY or the mid-west?
A: It's interesting because after I lived in LA for awhile, I vowed never to write a movie or TV show that took place in LA, because I felt like that's all I was seeing and reading. But I almost immediately wrote a play that took place in California (although not LA).
I wanted a state that was passionate about high school football, and when I think of high school football, I think of the South, but I don't know the South well at all, so California was the next best thing. But the truth is sometimes you write plays and you make conscious choices and sometimes you write plays and you make unconscious choices. Putting the play in California was not a conscious choice; I just wrote and that's where they were. I think as a writer, you have to believe in those kinds of choices because that's sort of all you have, your instinct, telling you what people are saying and who they are and what decisions they make.
Q: Do you see the play as the story of a marriage, or is it Aaron or Katie's story?
I see it as the story of a family. It's interesting; when I started writing the play I thought I'd write it about a father and a son, because a lot of my plays tended to be about mothers and I wanted to change things up. I wanted to write a play about football, and Mike is a former NFL quarterback, and in its first draft the play was a lot more about what it is to retire from the NFL, so I initially thought it might be Mike's play. Then, as I wrote, I found Aaron's voice really quickly so I thought it might be Aaron's play. However, as the play deepened, it became about Beth coming into her own and I thought, dammit, I wrote another play about a mother!
Ultimately, I decided it was a play about a family, and, in subsequent drafts, I worked on strengthening the character of Katie, which was the hardest part. In retrospect, I think maybe Katie's the character who is most like me, and I always have the most trouble writing that character.
So it is a play about a marriage, and about a brother and a sister, but it's mostly about a family. I don't see any of the six characters as the "main" character or the protagonist - it's about all six of them individually, and the family unit.
More to come!