The Voice of a New Generation Echoes in NYC Premiere of Really Really

By Harry Haun
22 Jan 2013

David Cromer
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

How this plays out into a piece of theatre with an amusing hot-and-cold-running dynamic is what drew Cromer into the project. "Oh, it goes in so many places," he says. "It's very funny, very strange, kinda relentless — then it heads into really horrible ambiguity of how people interpret a situation. After a while, it's difficult to tell what really happened. It's complicated, uncompromising, quite nasty. I like that. I am hoping audiences will feel the chaos you feel when you have only precarious bearings in the world — how thrilling and terrifying and awful that is all at once."

In 2007, when Colaizzo started writing the play, he knew two things: the comma-less title and the first line — the latter of which was actually a sound, "Ow." "That's all that I knew when I sat down to write it. I didn't know where it was going in the first draft."

At the time, he was a 21-year-old who had finished his class work at NYU a semester early and was spending the January-to-May before graduation as an actor on a TheatreWorks tour. The play, prophetically, was Great Expectations — and it premiered, prophetically again, at the Lortel, where he debuts as a NYC playwright.

"I'd never written a play before, and so, as we traveled with the show, while we were going state to state, I sat in the back of the van and wrote the first half of this play. When I returned, right before I graduated, I did a reading with a bunch of friends, and classmates listened to it. Then I put it away and concentrated on acting for a year-and-a-half more. I did an arc on 'As the World Turns,' and I was doing a stage production of High School Musical 2 in Atlanta when the stock market crashed.

"I decided then that I wanted to focus again on writing, and with a new economic climate — a post-2008 climate — I added another layer to Really Really: this idea of a severe uncertainty for anybody leaving school and entering the job market."