Artist Interview: David Lindsay-Abaire

One of the biggest pleasures of my job is being able to talk to artists who have found success and who also possess the self-awareness to understand the process of how they did so. In fact, I did an entire interview series for Artists In Action with people from all corners of the creative industry, trying to get to the essence of what makes someone successful in the arts. The not-so-surprising conclusion: there's no one way to do things. What works for one person may not work for another. But one thing that was abundantly clear from everyone I talked to was that it takes hard work, persistence, and (above all else) consistently being true to what it is that you love. That last part most certainly rings true in the career of playwright, screenwriter, and lyricist, David Lindsay-Abaire, and I am truly thrilled to present to you my interview with him.

David is an incredibly gifted writer whose credits include the plays Fuddy Meers, Kimberly Akimbo, Rabbit Hole(for which he won the Pulitzer Prize), and last year's Good People (which premiered with Tate Donovan, Frances McDormand, and Estelle Parsons); the Broadway musicals High Fidelity and Shrek the Musical; and the upcoming films Rise of the Guardians(for DreamWorks Animation), and Oz: The Great and Powerful (Disney's prequel to The Wizard of Oz, starring James Franco, Mila Kunis, Michelle Williams, and Rachel Weisz).

Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart in Rabbit Hole
Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart in Rabbit Hole

Rabbit Hole was translated to the screen with stars Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart a little over a year ago (it was beautiful and heartbreaking!), and this interview occurred on the eve of its release. Outside of sharing the challenges he faced in adapting his own play into a film, David talks about a wide-range of subjects, including making the stylistic transition from absurdism to realism; the process involved in writing a big-budget, Broadway spectacle; and the difficulties involved in working in the Hollywood studio system. It's an insightful and inspiring talk, and I'm honored to be able to share it with you. Enjoy!