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Meet Playwright Luke Gomez

Luke is the author of Misery Loves Mini-Golf, the next free, public reading in Now & Then's 3rd season. Artistic Director John Perovich had a chance to speak with Luke about the play and his process. Misery Loves Mini-Golf is directed by Cody Goulder and will be presented to audiences this Sunday, November 3 at 10AM.

John Perovich (JP): Luke! Thank you for coming to Phoenix and sharing your play with us. What has your writing process been like for Misery Loves Mini-Golf?

Luke Gomez (LG): It’s been extremely fast followed by a cosmic level of slowness quickly following. The script itself, I'm sure you remember, started when I was taking your advanced playwriting class at Brelby Theatre Company. This script essentially started ground up the first day of the class and from there, I just let it go. It was initially very quick to get most of it on page, but it definitely slowed to a crawl near the end and then—after it’s initial draft—I largely let it sit there until I could actually hear it out loud.

JP: That was such an intense class! We all wrote full length plays over the course of 6 weeks! It was awesome to see your play take shape during that time. What are some goals that you have for the reading?

LG: This will be the first official reading of the entire script, so there’s a lot of initial stuff that I’m hoping to get out of the way. I’m hoping to find the broad strokes stuff. I have a lot of confidence in this script, but I know it needs a good direction for the future drafts.

JP: Hopefully those broad strokes will reveal themselves through this process. How does having a director and actors work on your script impact your writing process? How does sharing a reading with an audience impact you and your play?

LG: In this case, my input will be particularly minimal because I want the script as I submitted heard—warts and scars and all. Generally, I find that very quickly things I thought worked (specific lines, character moments) don’t work. It’s a lot like how when you try and pronounce a word you’ve always read out loud for the first time and sound like an idiot. It also informs the characters because (without fail) an actor or a director will ask me about a line in the context of how they see them and it’s something I’ve literally never considered.

JP: That's always my deer-in-headlights moment—when I get asked those questions I hadn't even thought of...and it's really helpful! But at first, I think...wait, what? We have a great team lined up, so I'm sure they are going to discover much. Final question, there are so many options for seeing theatre in the valley or staying at home to stream stuff. Why should audiences check out Misery Loves Mini-Golf?

LG: Well, firstly, it’s free...so there’s that. It’s also a script I have a lot of affection for, I tried to put a lot of humor and humanity into this story, and—overall—I was just trying to write something everyone I knew could relate to. This also adds on to the fact that it has an amazing director and a playwright's dream of a cast.

Also, the script took a lot of inspiration from my own experiences from high school and living in Goodyear, Arizona, so maybe you wanna just check it out if you know me to find out if I’ve written about you and whether I put you in a good light.

Misery Loves Mini-Golf by Luke Gomez will be presented to audiences this Sunday, November 3 at 10:00AM. For info and to RSVP to this free reading, click here.