Burn This playwright Lanford Wilson, whose works are the focus of the current Signature Theatre Company season Off-Broadway, has surely influenced a younger generation of writers interested in human relationships, but who influenced Wilson over the years? "I think the biggest one, oddly enough, is [Charles] Dickens," Wilson said in the Sept. 17-21 Playbill On-Line Brief Encounter interview. "He just keeps pushing me because his characters are so far out that he's always a 'nudge' to say, 'Don't be so damn suburban.' And of course, Tennessee Williams. I was in plays by Tennessee; I was in The Glass Menagerie when I was in high school and you can't say those words without them penetrating you somewhere. And, one of the really early ones, before I'd written a play, I saw Brendan Behan's The Hostage. Stepping out of character and stepping out of the play and addressing the audience, hadn't even crossed my mind until I saw that play."
To view the entire interview click Brief Encounter.
— By Kenneth Jones