John W. Lowell is a 2008/2009 Ovation Nominee in the Playwrighting for an Original Play for his work THE LETTERS at Andak Stage Company.
If you’d like to add a congratulatory message for John (or any other Nominee or Nominated Company), to the Ovation Awards commemorative poster (distributed to all nominees and all attendees at the Ceremony), click here!
As an Ovation Award Nominee, LA Stage asked John the following questions:
What was the moment that first inspired you to pursue working in the theatre?
When I was six, I saw the original production of YOU’RE A GOOD MAN, CHARLIE BROWN in New York. For some reason, at one point, I turned my attention from the stage to the audience, and I saw their delight in what the actors were doing, singing, and saying. And when I saw that, I thought, I want to make an audience pay attention to me. When I realized that I could not sing, could not act, and had a hard time “doing”, I turned to writing.
What do you feel made the production you were nominated for particularly successful, either overall or for you specifically?
Simple: the superb acting and precise direction. There is a moment where the audience’s laughter turned, suddenly, into silence. What had seemed an amusing contest of wills turned into a life and death struggle, and the transition was seamless and stunning. When the moment occurred, I forgot that I had written the play, and started to worry about the outcome. I had been hooked, and I knew it was all going to work.
What project or projects are you currently working on?
I have a superstition about discussing works in progress until they are “done”, but I am working on a musical adaptation of an American movie from 1966. (It is not LORD, LOVE A DUCK.)
What do you love most about theatre in Los Angeles?
The same thing I love about all theatre everywhere: it is alive. There is no other art form from 2,500 years ago, where we know the precise names of the creators, and still thrill at their creations.
What’s your dream project?
Working on a play that employs twenty-five actors, and not fretting that it cannot be produced because it has twenty-five actors!
Biography: John W. Lowell has written SHERIDAN SQUARE, AUTUMN CANTICLE, LEO TOLSTOY IS IN THE NEXT ROOM DYING, TWO WOMEN IN A GARDEN, THE GENIUS OF THE SYSTEM, THE LETTERS, THE GREAT PURIM ADVENTURE OF CHIP MALIBU, TAKEN IN, and RENSSELAER. His work has been featured in theatre festivals including The Denver Center Festival of New Plays (THE GENIUS OF THE SYSTEM). AUTUMN CANTICLE has received productions at the Walnut Street Theatre and the Celebration Theatre (GLAAD award nominee), following a workshop production with the Eureka Theatre Company. LEO TOLSTOY… premiered at the San Jose Stages, following readings by The Acting Company, Circle Repertory Company, etc. TAKEN IN premiered at the Richmond Triangle Players Theatre, and has since been produced in London and Santa Cruz. THE LETTERS received its world premiere in Los Angeles, under the auspices of Andak Productions. He composed the music for the world premiere of Mikhail Kuzmin’s 1907 play, THE DANGEROUS PRECAUTION, at Theatre Rhinoceros. As a musician and dramaturg, Mr. Lowell worked on two Frank Loesser’s projects: SENOR DISCRETION HIMSELF premiered at Arena Stage in 2004; and PLEASURES AND PALACES for which he reconstructed the script and score.
For a full list of Ovation nominees, or for information about the Ovation Awards Ceremony on January 11th, click here!