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April 16, 2024 86 mins

Playwright Oliver Mayer joined us before the premiere of his new play Ghost Waltz. Oliver shares his experience writing operas, the medium's influence on his playwriting and the musicality of English as well as the intimacy of theatre and creative control, the after affects of "crashing into the wall. We also explore writing rituals, interruptions, reframing your story, breaking bad habits and the dangers of wit, where to start a scene and "when the mask falls," and wrap things up with dialogue and stage directions, the rules of twos and threes, the use of music, translating works, and saving (L.A.) theatre and nontraditional venues. It was certainly another page in the lesson books for me. I hope you walk away with something insightful. Enjoy.

Oliver Mayer is a playwright, poet, essayist and librettist, whose newest opera 3 Paderewskis, composed by Jenni Brandon, received its world premiere at Washington D.C.’s Kennedy Center in 2019. He is the author of more than 30 plays, from his ground-breaking Blade to the Heat to its long-awaited sequel - Members Only; he is currently at work on Ultimate Mix Tape, the third play in the Blade trilogy. Other produced plays include Blood Match and Yerma in the Desert (inspired by the plays of Federico Garcia Lorca), Fortune is a Woman, The Wallowa Project, Dias y Flores, Dark Matters, Young Valiant, Joy of the Desolate, The Sinner from Toledo, Laws of Sympathy and Ragged Time. He is developing new plays with The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts and the Getty Villa. He is a tenured professor and Associate Dean of Faculty at USC’s School of Dramatic Arts. The world premiere of his play Ghost Waltz opens at the Los Angeles Theater Center on May 4th and runs through June 6th.

For tickets to Ghost Waltz, visit -

To view the video format of this episode, visit -

Links mentioned in this episode -

Latino Theater Company -

Live at the Met -

Website and Socials for Oliver Mayer -

Website -

USC - School of Dramatic Arts -

Websites and socials for James Elden, PMP, and Playwright's Spotlight -

Punk Monkey Productions -

PLAY Noir -

PLAY Noir Anthology –

James Elden -
Twitter - @jameseldensauer
IG - @alakardrake
FB -

Punk Monkey Productions and PLAY Noir -
Twitter - @punkmonkeyprods
                  - @playnoirla
IG - @punkmonkeyprods
       - @playnoir_la
FB -

Playwright's Spotlight -
Twitter - @wrightlightpod
IG - @playwrights_spotlight

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