Friday, August 5, 2016

An interview with Jerry Lacy


Although I missed getting together with Jerry Lacy at the 50th Anniversary festival (thanks to Doubletree Hotel’s wacky WiFi), he was nice enough to answer some questions via e-mail about his upcoming play, "A Reunion of Sorts."

Jerry Lacy (center) with the cast and crew of "A Reunion of Sorts."
Dark Shadows fans associate you most with the fledgling lawyer Tony Peterson and a good number of the male bloodline of the Trask family, but not everyone knows you have also had a successful career as a writer.  How did you get started and what are some of the works you've authored?
I actually started writing many years ago by writing several scripts for TV shows, NEWHART and PARENTHOOD. But I did not like the way my scripts were treated by the networks and producers of the show. They have complete freedom to change the writer's lines and ultimately the scripts did not reflect what I had intended them to. Sometimes minor, sometimes major changes were imposed on the script and it led me to abandon that form of writing. I then switched to writing screenplays and after a few years of being unable to get any of them produced, even with encouragement from a major Hollywood literary agent, I abandoned that form of writing as well. I then turned to playwriting as a more stable and much more gratifying form of writing. I have now completed five plays, two of which are garnering some awards, and a production.

Do you prefer writing to acting?
Writing is a creative outlet for me between acting jobs.  I suppose I would say that I prefer acting, perhaps only because I have been a performer much longer than I have been a writer.  Acting comes more naturally to me and is easier than writing.  Someone else has done all the work, and just allows me to concentrate on creating a character to go with the words.

Your new play, "A Reunion of Sorts," is scheduled to premiere at Town and Country Players in Buckingham, PA.  How did you come to choose a small community theater in Bucks County as your venue?
A chance meeting with Donna Nicolazzo, the director, and her previous association with the Town and Country Players led to the current production of the play there. I sent her the play and after reading it she expressed a strong interest in directing it.

What is the play about?
The play concerns two older men who dated the same girl 30 years ago. When she calls and asks for a reunion, the two men revert to their youthful rivalry almost instantly. Even though Ted is happily married, he cannot let himself give up the beautiful Jacqueline to Nick, who is alone and forlorn. They drink and discuss, and drink and argue, and drink.

It sounds like an insightful comedy. What inspired you to write it?
I realized that there were very few parts for older men in the theatre, especially in comedy. I had been looking for a play to perform with my friend John McCook ("The Bold and the Beautiful") and could not find one. Eventually I decided the best thing would be to write one.

Do you have any plans for the piece when this production closes?
Nothing specific yet.  I am working on getting another production and possibly get the play published. There has been some discussion about possibly doing a production of it with myself and another DARK SHADOWS alumnus, but nothing definite yet.

"A Reunion of Sorts" is scheduled to run Aug. 12-20 at the Town and Country Players' barn, located 4158 York Road, Buckingham, Pa. It is directed by Donna Nicolazzo and stars James Kirkwood, Kimberlee Arnot-Weidman, Joseph Perignat, John Fogarty and Sue Burke-McKay. You can find the production's Facebook page HERE.

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