Derek Ahonen is the Resident Playwright, Co-founder, and Associate Artistic Director of the award-winning Amoralists Theatre Company. He is the author of the full-length plays "Like the Fog to the Sun," "Pink Knees on Pale Skin," "Happy in the Poorhouse," "The Pied Pipers of the Lower East Side," "Amerissiah," "Pokin’ the Bears in a Zoo," and "Bring Us the Head of Your Daughter and While Chasing the Fantastic."
Derek's latest play, "The Bad and The Better" comes to life from June 14-July 21 at the Peter Jay Sharp Theater in NYC (416 West 42nd Street, between 9th & 10th Avenue). "The Bad and the Better" is a riveting detective noir centered around the Lang brothers. One with everything to lose. One with everything to prove. Both in too deep. Set in the basements, balconies and bars where secrets are whispered and revealed, join a group of local anarchists, law enforcement officials and political power players. All are waging war: against injustice, corruption and, ultimately, the people they love the most. A cautionary tale about the hypocrisy of extreme principles, The Bad and the Better explores the dangers of maintaining loyalty and protecting your family, whoever they are, at any cost. When it comes to the bad and the better, what’s the difference? Click here for tickets and follow The Amorlalists on Facebook and Twitter!
1. Who or what inspired you to become a playwright? I had always wanted to write plays. I fantasized about it when I was just an actor. So I got my shit together and wrote one in '03. I was fortunate enough to know some guys that were just starting up a theatre company and they liked my first play and produced it. I haven’t stopped playwriting since.
2. Who haven't you worked with that you would like to? Michael Cerveris.
3. What made you want to write "The Bad and The Better"? I like detective stories and wanted to see if I could do one. But not like a comedic/ironic one. Just a real detective story for adults. I like grown up stuff.
4. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing the show? I hope they feel challenged and provoked and highly entertained.
5. You are one of the co-founders of The Amoralists Theater Company. What does it mean to you to have your own theater company? It means that I'll have my work on a New York stage often and that's the most important thing for a playwright. It also means I don't have to have a nomadic career in the theatre. I get to have a home and work with a family.
6. What have you gotten from being the Associate Artistic Director of The Amoralists that you have not gotten from being a playwright? You learn how to be a well-rounded theatre artist as well as learning about money and negotiating strategies and making deals. I want to take The Amoralists on "Shark Tank."
7. What is your favorite part of the creative process when writing? Where is your favorite place to write? Favorite part of writing is finishing the first draft. Favorite place to write would be on a subway.
8. What have you learned about yourself from being a playwright and starting your own theatre company? I learned that I like to bite off a lot before I know if I can chew it. I'm an instinctual person in both life and art and I don't spend too much time thinking about whether I should do something or not. I just do it and then try to make it work. Kind of a shoot first ask questions later mentality. Strangely enough I've never cheated on a girlfriend. I would think that would be something that would happen to somebody that caters to the whims of the moment.
9. What's the best advice you've ever received? Never get married.
10. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? My grandparents. They really helped raise me and I miss them and I miss being in their homes in the 80s as a child.
11. Favorite way to spend your day off? At a bar.
12. Favorite way to stay in shape? Don't eat.
13. Boxers or Briefs? Commando.
14. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? The ability to see through peoples clothes. (But only if I could go back to normal vision when I’m around my family).