Backstory: Tall Order
I have never been interested in writing to a theme. That is, to have someone say, "We're looking to do a night of plays based on the idea of cheesemaking," and for me to then try to dig around in my noggin for an idea that fits. I worry that the result will just be forced and awful. So I initially sort of blanched when I was contacted by Michael Ruby of TheatreRats in New York City about writing a play for a New Years' Eve fundraiser. Michael & company run the Chester Horn Short Play festival, which I'd been in twice and genuinely enjoyed. Michael liked my work, and had asked me, along with three other playwrights including the very talented Mark Harvey Levine and Mary Steelsmith, to offer up, if we could, 10 minutes based on New Years' Eve. I said yes because Michael's a great guy, but then I wondered if I could pull it off.
In no time at all I had two ideas, actually, one of them being Tall Order. (The other is still in the mental attic, waiting its turn.)
When we did the show at Acme, I drew up menus for "Jack & Thali's Diner," a little nod to my kids.