I just finished one play and an evening," Nicky Silver announced when asked what's new -- then, things quickly got complicated. "I don't know if the evening is a play. It's short pieces."
This evening is untitled, too. "It has a working title," said the author of The Food Chain and Pterodactyls. "At the moment, it's just called Short Stories, but that's not very exciting. I'd like to call it Etiquette and Vitriol, but I used that title for my published collection of plays, so I don't know that I can call it that--but I might anyway. I might call it The Food Chain, simply use the old title. It was a good one."
The Altruists is the name of his new play. He characterizes this one as "a mean-spirited look at the spoiled radicals of the East Village -- 30 year-old, to-the-manor-born white radical element that has moved into the East Village. It's sort of a jaundiced version of Rent -- I thought, frankly, Rent was a jaundiced version of Rent -- but it's a take on that.
"I look forward to doing them both. I'll do one next season and one the following season."
In an atypically serious note, Silver regretted the reception accorded his last play at the Vineyard Theatre, The Maiden's Prayer: "I feel badly that it didn't do better. David Warren [his usual director] said to me once, 'You can't worry about your career. You can only worry about your work.' And it's true. I can just write plays and hope for the best. I was very disappointed it didn't do better, but I'm very proud of that play, and I don't like all of my plays. "I actually did three plays, but I'm throwing one away, which I often do. About a third of what I write, I don't keep. I don't put it in a drawer and come back to it later. I don't like to be reminded of failure. It's quite hard to write a play so if I sweat and struggle and still don't like it, I walk it to the garbage chute and I throw it away when I'm finished. It's all for the best, really."
-- By Harry Haun