Review Fix chats with playwright Joshua Crone, who discusses his production, “Squatters.” Displaying the narratives of those without a place to live following 9/11, the play has also been turned into a film, which ran in both London and Germany. Crone also discusses his newest work, “A Farewell Tour.” Focusing on the chronicling the ongoing issues surrounding the suffering humanity, Crone’s lens is an interesting one.
Review Fix: What was your inspiration to write this play?
Joshua Crone: A need to break free of the past. I was in midtown Manhattan the morning of 9/11. The question “What does this mean?” became an obsession that drove me to study philosophy and, when that failed to supply answers, inspired me to write Squatters seven years later.
Review Fix: What’s your creative process like?
Crone: With this play I borrowed Pinter’s method of starting with two voices and letting them dictate the story. It’s not an approach that lends itself to linear narratives, but if pursued systematically, it can dredge up images and emotions that resonate universally, because we all share the same fears and anxieties. Directing the play in Berlin felt like choreographing a fever dream, like Black Elk staging his vision. The goal is a cleansing ritual. Not uplifting. Purgation.
Review Fix: What makes this different or special?
Crone: It’s not about 9/11. It’s about our inadequate reaction, our attempt to frame the event in cookie-cutter narratives where we know who we are, where we stand.
Review Fix: What did you learn about yourself through this process?
Crone: That all I really care about as a writer is the problem of human suffering.
Review Fix: What are your ultimate goals for this production and for the future?
Crone: A full run in New York, combined with a reading of stories by New Yorkers about how they spent the rest of September. As for the future, I plan to keep writing, directing, acting and supporting myself as a German and Polish translator.
Review Fix: What’s next?
Crone: I’m working on A Farewell Tour, my second feature. It’s a film about the death of a Japanese-American tour guide, an estranged member of an ancient family of Noh actors.