From Sarah, With Joy

*Poet * Author * Wanderluster*

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Writing Lessons from Larry Shue and 'The Foreigner'

This weekend I went to a fantastic production of Larry Shue's The Foreigner. Those of you who have seen this play know how phenomenally well-written it is. Those of you who have not seen it, leap at the absolute next chance you have to see it. There is such heart, humor and honesty in this play. As far is this play goes, Larry Shue is a genius.

In the playbill, there is an About the Author section that has a quote from Larry Shue that I find interesting and helpful. Here is the paragraph:

"To author Larry Shue, buying a hamburger was a near overwhelmingly big deal. This is perhaps why there is such honesty in Shue's protagonists, including Charlie Baker, a man who describes himself as 'shatteringly, profoundly--boring.' Shue, himself, admitted that he was his own best inspiration for plays, remarking, 'I write plays out of embarrassment...I generally write them either about my personal experiences, or I find an interesting character and try to fill in the world around him.'"

I don't know about you, but I find this relatable and interesting. I think writing out of an honest, even embarrassing exploration of yourself is an incredible place to start from. It can lead to human and honest work that is successful at touching the reader/audience. It is, I think, what makes a piece unforgetable.

Happy writing!
Sarah Allen


  1. Absolutely, Sarah! I agree. That raw vulnerability is what can make fiction so powerful.

    Great post!

  2. Isn't it? When people can just lay it out there like that, it makes things so human and relatable. Thanks for the kind words :)



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