One of the first principles you learn in theatre is to trust your partner. It’s also a required ingredient for two writers collaborating. Just ask Arnold Johnston and Deborah Ann Percy, the husband and wife team whose book of one-act plays has just been published. Duets is a collection is six short plays, “providing a view of the human heart in the tender war of love.”
Johnston and Percy write these plays together. Often one will start and hand off to the other. Absolute trust in your partner is required, they said.
These short plays are snippets of couples caught in the act of life. Johnston and Percy begin with the everyday: waiting for a client to appear, arguing over marriage counseling, climbing a monument. When two people know each other well, multiple conversations are carried on in just one sentence and the dialog reflects that intimacy of communication. As the issues of here and now are bandied about, there’s always a subtext or two. Johnston and Percy layer all that witty situational banter with the deeper issues confronted in relationships — agreements, confessions, trespasses, questions.
We hosted the authors at KPL on May 6 for a reading and book signing. Give a listen as they read from “A Pet of Temperance.”
Duets: Love Is Strange