Finding the Seed of a Play
by Estelle Rosen
Jeffrey Blatt graduated from the writing and directing program at York University with specialized honors, where his thesis film had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. He has since gone on to write and direct several award-winning short films that have been broadcast internationally. After writing and directing a multi-million dollar feature film Mr. Blatt has since devoted his career to becoming a respected screenwriter. The Permanent Guest is his first attempt at staging a theatrical performance from an original work.
CHARPO: Seems like The Permanent Guest could have been based on a personal experience and I understand it was the first time presented before an audience. What was the background to write this play; and assuming it'll be presented again, what lessons were learned from the experience?
BLATT: "The Permanent Guest" was inspired by the relationship between my co-writer, Heidi Lynne Weeks, and a friend of hers who pushed the boundaries of being a house guest. Heidi and I are improvisers, and after shows she would tell me stories that were hysterical. As a screenwriter you're always listening for ideas that will trigger your imagination, and somewhere among our belly laughs we both realized we had the seed of a play.
We got together over the next couple months and hashed something out. Then, as it happens with most stories you put to paper, it started to collect dust. That is until about six months ago...