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The Subtext: Writing Comic Book Plays With Crystal Skillman

The author of ‘Open’ and ‘Mary and Max’ talks about how comic books influence her plays (and her marriage).

The Subtext is a podcast where playwrights talk to playwrights about the things usually left unsaid. In a conversation that dives into life’s muck, we learn what irks, agitates, motivates, inspires, and ultimately what makes writers tick.

This month on The Subtext Brian travels to Brooklyn to chat with Crystal Skillman in a park along the East River.

Crystal Skillman.

Crystal’s work is theatrical, fun, and full of heart. Many of her plays are known for a comic book style, which makes sense since she also writes those (and is married to a comic book writer). As a matter of fact, the two collaborated on a play about renowned comic book writer Jack Kirby, titled King Kirby. Crystal also wrote the book for the musical Mary and Max, which recently received its world premiere at Canada’s Theatre Calgary and is scheduled to have its European premiere at Theatre Linz in Austria. Her recent play Open, about an illusionist trying to save her partner, was a New York Times Critic’s Pick.

Crystal talks about her experience as the daughter of a race car driver, and how her father’s career led the family across the country from San Diego to Poughkeepsie. She never thought about how should would make money as an artist when she first set out on this path, but as her parents always said: “Do what you want and the money will come.”

Download the episode here.

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