Feature Q & A – Grant McGowen’s Wall Street Wedding

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Photo courtesy of Pinch 'n' Ouch Theatre

Photo courtesy of Pinch ‘n’ Ouch Theatre

After staging Let’s Make It at Pinch ‘n’ Ouch Theatre, Grant McGowen has a new play for Atlanta audiences. Set against the Stock Market crash of 2008, the comedy Wall Street Wedding shows us that wealth in relationships may be better than wealth in the bank. Read our latest Feature Q & A to learn more about this satirical play that will leave you laughing.

What inspired you to write the play?
Besides the obvious themes of Wall Street, the state of the economy, friendships and relationships, a few writers popped in my head when writing this play. David Mamet, Neil LaBute, Howard Korder, Donald Margulies and Judd Apatow to name a few. I even named the characters after characters from some of their plays. I’ll let those theatre scholars out there discover which ones.

How would you describe the play?
Wall Street Wedding is a hysterically funny romance about a newlywed, a divorcee, a bride-to-be, and a single girl on their journey to find love and happiness in a tanking economy.

What can audiences expect when viewing the play?
This play reminds us to find value in each other and laugh in times of misfortune. It’s a heartfelt, fast-paced, high-energy (much like our recent economy) roller coaster ride from start to finish. There’s also some bad language in it, but not as much as the most recent Scorsese film The Wolf of Wall Street.

What’s it like acting in a play that you’ve written?
It’s really fun! Especially in this play. This cast is amazing, and the comedy really does hit its mark. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve laughed hysterically in rehearsals.

What character do you play and did you have yourself in mind to perform the role when you wrote the play?
I play the role of “Tom.” Satirically speaking, he represents much of the pessimism you see in the world today. In his defense, however, he works for one of the most notorious financial companies in history, AIG, in the worst possible time, just after the market crash of 2008. Life spirals out of control, and he’s forced to reconsider his priorities. I never really had myself in mind for the role, but after director Robby Glade talked me into it, I got more and more excited about the challenge I was up for and the opportunity to work with this cast.

The play has also been double cast. What prompted you to make this decision?
Over the past year or so our talent pool has grown tremendously. We really have become a community of artists that works together to create some exciting new works. When the opportunity to double cast presented itself, we couldn’t pass on it. I can’t tell you enough how amazing it’s been, working along side of these guys. Brian Ashton Smith stepped in for me as “Tom” this past rehearsal and boy oh boy is he going to be good, but in his own unique way! I think if you’re planning on seeing the show in February, you must also see it again in March to see how it changes!

Have the two casts interacted?
The two casts have definitely interacted, and there’s been a lot of laughter and learning from one another. Director Robby Glade has done a nice job in setting the tone and bringing us all together. It’s always a pleasure working with Jackie Costello, especially after working with her on Speed-the-Plow and Some Girls. She’s kind of a big deal. My bets are on Christie Vozniak and Alex Van to steal the show though, especially working across from each other. They’re both hilarious forces to be reckoned with. The newbie of the group, but not at all new to Atlanta theater, is Bryn Striepe (Seminar, Macbeth). She grounds the play and really does get to showcase some nice acting.

Wall Street Wedding plays at Pinch ‘n’ Ouch Theatre February 6 through March 1, 2014. For tickets and more information, please visit http://www.pnotheatre.org/.