MEET THE PLAYWRIGHT: William Ivor Fowkes

Our Second Annual evening of parodies and homages returns with Cocktails and Classics.  Learn more about the playwrights and performers in this blog series.  

Meet William Ivor Fowkes, whose "Monet" presents three different ways of interacting with art.

Tell us a little about yourself. 
I’ve been writing plays for about 14 years. After earlier careers as a philosophy professor and as a media executive, I am now a full-time playwright. I also run a weekly playwrights group that meets at the Dramatists Guild. My work runs the gamut from full-lengths to short plays, comedy to drama, gay to straight. I’m currently working on a full-length play about a desperate journalist and a young homeless woman. I live with my husband Stephen, a music conductor, near Lincoln Center and have two grown daughters in the fashion industry.

What inspired you to write your piece?
I came across the painting at the center of my play, Monet, while visiting the Musée Marmottan Monet in Paris. As I contemplated the painting, my mind started to wander, and all three characters were born. 

What's your favorite thing about theatre?
My favorite thing about theater is the conspiracy between the players and the audience that makes it possible to transform the space between and around us into anything we want it to be. TV and film don’t really care if the audience is there or not—they can go on without them. 

Why are classics and new takes on classics still important today?
Since theater is a performative art, it has to be performed in order to exist. That means that great plays can and must be performed many times and in many different ages. Each age should revisit the classics not just to keep them alive, but also to imbue them with their own meanings and notions.

Anything else you'd like to tell us?
 My first film—a short called THE BRAZILIAN DILEMMA—had its world premiere at the Adirondack Film Festival, where it was an Official Selection in October. It was produced by Collective NY Films.  

William Ivor Fowkes is based in New York and is a member of the Dramatists Guild. His plays have been presented in 24 states. Several have been broadcast on the radio and on podcasts; several have been published. His fiction has appeared in many journals. He has been a FINALIST for the Reva Shiner Comedy Award (Bloomington Playwrights Project) and W. Keith Hedrick Playwriting Contest (HRC Showcase Theatre). His full-length plays include ALL IN THE FACULTY (Dramatists Play Service), PRIVATE PROPERTY (Players’ Ring), MUSEUM LOVERS (Harlequin Productions), SUNSHINE QUEST (Fresh Fruit Festival), COUPLE OF THE CENTURY (Downtown Urban Theater Festival), and others. Or follow him on Twitter or Facebook.


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