What is your name and where are you from?
My name is Max Posner. I am originally from Denver, Colorado but I live in Brooklyn.
What are you working on at SPACE?
I’ve been working on a couple things. Mostly I’ve been working on my play Judy which I have a very sprawling unruly first draft that in some ways feels like eight plays and in some ways feels like no play. So, a lot of what I’ve been working on here is going back through the material I have and try and find a way of moving through it and rethinking it so it is a more focused experience. That’s a play about three grown siblings in the year 2040 and it happens in each of their basements. The main character’s wife just left him and twelve hours later his daughter gets her period for the first time. It’s about him and his relationship with his sisters and the way in which the three of them have isolated themselves from personal interactions. It’s a comedy.
What was your inspiration for Judy?
I wrote the first draft of Judy in the Soho Rep writer/director lab. I actually didn’t know—I knew that I was interested in language so that was my focus in the beginning—I didn’t know what play I wanted to write. So, I think my process for that was just to generate a lot of material of things that I was excited about and stitch it together. The process is different for me every time. I would say that for me, though, the initial impulse is I can’t know where I’m going. If I do I won’t write it. I start with writing. The writing ideas come from writing. I have to try not to anticipate anything and from there I determine what the play is.
How have you been spending your time at Ryder Farm?
I’ve been spending my time being terrorized by these monstrous people. The farm has been an incredible combination of having quiet time to wander through whatever I’m working on, having time to pause and really let things happen in my writing without pushing it into 15 minute windows. And also, being in this setting is great because you get to switch the location that you’re writing—in my case—every 35-40 minutes. More than that I feel like the hanging out time with this crew of people has been so special. We not only found that part to be a relief from our work and writing and a big exhale but also we’ve had some real genuine conversations about writing that feels uncommon. That’s been really great. The whole crew up here, the people are great people. That makes it hard to leave.
What is coming up next for this project?
For this project I’m not sure, I’m in the middle of the writing process. For me, I’m doing the Julliard playwriting fellowship, that just started, this fall. I have a couple readings of some other plays that I’ve written that are happening so I’ve been working on those and trying to involve the next phase of collaborators in those plays.
If you were reincarnated as a farm animal what would it be and why?
That’s not an animal. I’ll change the question.
I took it as “what farm living thing would you be”? The grass because it is all different lengths all over the place. People would lie on you all the time, looking up at the sun while their back was on you. That would be nice. You would stain people’s clothes, grow taller, be trimmed regularly in some places. You get to kiss those sheep. And you would smell great. Other plants would grow out from you and you’d look up at them. Sometimes you might get a little jealous thinking, “look at that plant it is so tall and beautiful,” but then you’d say, “but I’m fucking everywhere.” So for me it’d be the grass.
Interviewed by Marisa Brau