“Paul David Young’s compassionate drama ‘In the Summer Pavilion’ was a highlight of 2011 FringeNYC. An imaginative exploration of the various possible futures for three close friends just one year out of college, it has moved on to an Off-Broadway run at 59E59 Theaters. The show remains a quiet winner.” – Backstage, Erik Haagensen

Paul David Young is a New York-based artist who was born in Kentucky. His work focuses on theater, performance, and art, and how the latter two appropriate the former. His work has also been performed at MoMA PS1, Marlborough Gallery, Living Theatre, apexart, The Brick, LMAK Projects, Lion Theatre, C.O.W. Theater, Kraine Theater, Chain Theatre, Emerging Artists Theatre, Red Room, and Kaffileikhusid in Reykjavik. His Kentucky Cantata premiered in 2015 at HERE in New York (Howard Miller, Talkin’ Broadway: “devastating” “brilliantly composed”: “Kentucky Cantata is a masterful work that is likely to stay with you for a long time after the final bows.” Angel Lam, The Easy, “a dark, poetic play.”) His translations, with Carl Weber, of Heiner Müller’s Anatomy Titus Fall of Rome and Macbeth were published in 2012 as Heiner Müller: After Shakespeare. A Contributing Editor at PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art (MIT Press), he also writes for Art in America and Hyperallergic. His book newARTtheatre: Evolutions of the Performance Aesthetic, about visual artists appropriating theatre, was issued by PAJ in 2014. New York Live Arts selected him to write Context Notes for the 2014-15 season.

He won the Kennedy Center’s Paula Vogel Playwriting Award and was a finalist for the Kendeda Fellowship and the Kennedy Center’s John Cauble Short Play Award. His residencies and fellowships include Workspace, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (2011-2012); the Djerassi Artists Program (2010); and the Millay Colony (2009). He was also a Kennedy Center Playwriting Fellow at the O’Neill National Playwrights Conference (2009).

He received a B.A. from Yale College, a J.D. from Columbia Law School, an M.F.A. in Playwriting from New School for Drama, and he was a Fulbright Scholar in Germany.

Featured Image Photo Credit: Courtesy of Paul David Young

Excerpt from In the Summer Pavilion by Paul David Young ©:

 

BEN:

We talked.  In rehab, you talk and talk.  It’s all you do.  Talk and think about your life.  Why you’re using and then what else is there, what do you do with the time you have on Earth.  Since we graduated from Princeton, what have I done?  I was hooked on coke and then I switched to heroin.  I’ve never had a job.  I’ve never had a relationship.  I’ve done nothing with my life.  Nothing.

 

NABILE:

This is heavy.  I think I need more coffee.

 

CLARISSA:

Sorry, Ben, would you like some?

 

BEN:

I don’t drink coffee anymore.

 

NABILE:

Cold turkey.  Well, good for you.  I’m still on it.  Clarissa?

 

CLARISSA:

I’m okay, thanks.  You used to be Mister Espresso.

 

BEN:

It’s not good for you.  It’s a drug.  It’s like heroin. You get to where you need it just to be normal.  I don’t want any of that.

 

CLARISSA:

You’ve made a lot of progress.

 

BEN:

And it’s wrong.

 

CLARISSA:

Wrong?

 

BEN:

Coffee is made on the backs of peasants.  They plant, they pick.  They do all the work and they’re practically living in slavery.  The societies of South America are essentially still feudal.  The landowners and the large multinationals control the agriculture and make all the profits by exploiting landless peasants who aren’t politically organized.  Most of the time the plantation owners own the police and the military.  The workers can’t stand up for their rights.  They live in substandard conditions, deprived of adequate health care.  Their children don’t have access to education.  It’s all a process of exploitation and I don’t want to be a part of it.  I can’t support it.  It’s morally and ethically wrong.

 

NABILE:

Okay, then, no coffee for you.