Playwright Philip Schaeffer is a young professional, but he has a long history at DCT. His parents are Nancy and Karl Schaeffer, who were among DCT’s first employees over thirty years ago. He talked with us a little about growing up at DCT, and his inspiration for THE GHOSTS OF SLEEPY HOLLOW.
What was it like to grow up at DCT? Can you share a favorite memory?
Growing at up at DCT was awesome! I have too many favorite memories to choose from, though, appropriately for the season, I will say that I always particularly enjoyed when the Halloween shows would roll around. When it comes to scary stories, I always found live theater much spookier than movies or TV could be.
What was your involvement in performing at DCT as a teen?
I was in the old Crescent Players class when I was a teenager, which was the forerunner to the Teen Conservatory classes they offer now. And I was also in several of the video camps and classes as a teenager, which is where I think I started to realize how much I enjoyed writing scripts.
What do you enjoy when it comes to writing for teens? Is it different than writing for adult performers?
I did not write THE GHOSTS OF SLEEPY HOLLOW any differently than I would have for adult performers. I feel like teenagers are more than capable of rising to the occasion and performing challenging material (far more challenging material than this play) when given the opportunity and some guidance, so I never even considered that I was writing for youth performers.
Why were you particularly interested in the stories of Washington Irving?
Washington Irving was the first American author, and his stories influenced not only American literature, but the literature of the Old World as well, particularly depictions of the supernatural and spectacular. I’ve also always been fascinated by the earliest days of American history, and Washington Irving is a great source for those kind of stories.
Are there other projects on the horizon you can tell us about?
Nothing I’m cleared to talk about at the moment, but lots of fun stuff percolating!
How did growing up at DCT influence your career and professional decisions?
Growing up at DCT certainly set me on the path to working in the entertainment industry. It taught me how much fun it could be to try and tell stories in dramatic and exciting ways, and how much work goes into putting on an excellent dramatic experience for the audience.
Philip Schaeffer’s THE GHOSTS OF SLEEPY HOLLOW is running now through October 30 with DCT’s Teen Scene Players. Check out this fabulous teen talent now, because they are obviously going to go on to great things!
Get your tickets today at www.dct.org