SUDDENLY, EVERYONE WANTS HIM BIG NAMES ARE AFTER PLAYWRIGHT RON SIMONIAN.
April 6, 1994 By ROBERT TRUSSELL Publication: The Kansas City Star
Kansas City playwright Ron Simonian finds himself in the curious position of waiting to see what happens next. Since the Unicorn Theatre produced his disturbing meditation on violence, "Thanatos," in January and February, his name has been a topic of conversation at film companies in Los Angeles, theater companies in New York and the recent Humana Festival of New American Plays in Louisville, Ky. Literary agent Susan Schulman, upon seeing this reporter's name tag over the breakfast bar in Louisville one morning, immediately volunteered laudatory opinions on the Kansas City writer's talents. Schulman doesn't officially represent Simonian, but she has read his plays "Thanatos" and "Bagheads" and is most impressed. Even if she doesn't sign him up, she wants to talk him up. "Ron Simonian is a true writer. Lots of people can write a play. I've read thousands of competent playwrights. But Ron is a writer. " Schulman said Simonian was recommended to her by Jeff Church, artistic director of the Coterie, where Simonian is the house manager. After John Quinn, the local correspondent for Variety, reviewed "Thanatos," Simonian began getting calls. So far he's received interest from Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros. and Disney. "What Walt Disney would ever do with `Thanatos,' I don't know," Simonian said. "I just couldn't see Mickey Mouse introducing it. " Simonian said the producers of "Roseanne" have also requested writing samples. In addition to Schulman, he has also sparked the interest of the mammoth Creative Artists Agency,and he has been contacted by the WPA Theatre and the AGBU Theatre in New York. WPA is considering "Thanatos" and AGBU would like to mount either "Thanatos" or "Bagheads" for an Off-Broadway production in the fall. How it all shakes out remains to be seen, but Simonian said if he can emerge from the next few months with an agent and a New York production, he'll be a happy man. "It's very frustrating because you don't want to sell yourself short but you don't want to miss out on anything. " The Kansas City Star Date: April 6, 1994 Page: F5 Copyright 1994, 1996 The Kansas City Star Co