The thing surprised me the most, though, was that most of the funny bits actually landed. I tend to think of myself as a funny person in conversation and a pretty unfunny person on the page. In the past, if I was writing a scene and a funny bit seemed to arise naturally, then I'd throw it in, but most of the time trying to write a joke was just a disaster. I'd really like to write a comedy at some point, but so far my plays are often pretty sad.
My current play is about child sexual abuse, which is a serious and horrible subject, and one which I wanted to depict as serious and horrible. And it became increasingly clear that, to prevent mass audience rebellion, I was going to have to figure out where to be funny. And that's been kind of a great challenge, especially because two-thirds of the cast is fifteen years old. There are certainly fifteen-year-olds who are genuinely witty (I definitely thought I was one of them when I was fifteen), but I think quippiness in fictional kids tends to create Buffy-speak stylization. And I like to stay more realistic and plainspoken than that. So I like the kids' senses of humor to be a little goofier, a little weirder -- see that discussion about the nipples a few entries down. Or this:
Also, people are dicks about [my name] sometimes. Fat Kristi was like “What kind of name is that?” and I was like “at least nobody calls me Fat Kristi.”
Did she...used to be fat?
I heard she just used to call everybody else fat, and then Latrice called her “Fat Kristi” one time and it stuck forever.
I don't know how funny that is to you -- maybe it's not and you kind of hate me now -- but I submit that spelling Fat Kristi with two i's is way funnier than spelling it "Fat Kristy." On that point I will not be budged.