Jeffrey Neuman was first drawn to theater as a child growing up in Manhattan and going to shows. He never wanted to act, but did want to be a part of the production in some way.
“There’s something about theater that has completely and utterly fascinated me about actors being on stage in front of a live audience sharing a unique and singular event. Creating the blueprint for this story is what most excites me,” he says.
Neuman, who lives in Stapleton with his partner, Mark, has been a playwright and dramaturgist for 10 years. A dramaturg, or “drama turd” as his grandfather called him, is the person in charge of planning and constructing the stage. He works with playwrights and directors to bounce ideas off and imagine the space for actors. He also hires dramaturgists to do the same for his productions. He writes plays of varying lengths and genres, from light comedy to dark satire. He recently completed Exit Strategies, his first full-length production to show in Colorado, which will run December 4–31 at The Edge Theater Company in Lakewood.
Exit Strategies features a moderately successful playwright who returns home for his father’s funeral and is drawn into the explosive family dynamic that he’s spent most of his life trying to escape.
“I’m drawn to things that are eminently theatrical. When you go home you may be a different person at 40 than 20, but the second you go back to your home, you literally take on a role; you become an actor in a strange little domestic play, so I tend to gravitate toward family relationships because I find them so incredibly dramatic, funny, heartbreaking and theatrical.”
Neuman was selected as one of 13 playwrights to join the LaMaMa International Playwright Retreat this past August 9–18 in Umbria, Italy. Each day the group discussed writing, wrote pieces, and then critiqued each other’s work. “It was one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences to be in a retreat setting with playwrights from all over the globe.”
To learn more about Jeffrey Neuman and his work, visit www.theaterbyjeff.com. To purchase tickets for Exit Strategies at The Edge Theater Company, 1560 Teller in Lakewood, call the box office at 303.232.0363 or visit www.theedgetheater.com.