Article in the Sacramento News & Review, August 26, 2004
by Jeff Hudson
Local playwright William A. Parker is a happy man these days. A graduate of California State University, Sacramento, Parker has been writing plays and producing them himself in small venues for the past 12 years. Getting attention has been an uphill struggle. His most recent local effort, the African-American family drama Waitin’ 2 End Hell, had a two-weekend run on a borrowed stage at Valley High School in December 2003 and netted only one review, in SN&R (“Heated controversy” by Jeff Hudson; SN&R Theater; December 18, 2003).
However, Parker’s visceral script grabbed the attention of New York producer Woodie King Jr. An off-Broadway production of it, directed by King, opened at the 47th Street Playhouse in Manhattan on May 27.
The show generated the sort of attention aspiring playwrights dream of, including favorable reviews in The New York Times, the New York Post and elsewhere. The Post’s description sounds very much like the Sacramento run: “[The audience] responded with a steady stream of shouted comments, whoops, hollers and belly laughs.” Waitin’ 2 End Hell has been extended at the 47th Street Playhouse and will run through at least September 12. There’s talk of moving the show to a theater on Broadway, and, in the event of a tour, it might come back to Sacramento.
Meanwhile, Parker is basking in the limelight. “I’m getting calls now from theaters that I’ve been soliciting for years, just trying to get them to read my work,” he said. “Now, I’ve got e-mails saying, ‘Please send us a script; we’d like to consider it for our next season.’”
|Playwright||Waitin’ 2 End Hell||2004-05 Season|