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Talking Comics with Tim | Crystal Skillman & Fred Van Lente

Action Philosophers!: The Play

Last Thursday, June 23, Crystal Skillman‘s play adaptation of Action Philosophers (the comic book series by Fred Van Lente & Ryan Dunlavey) opened its four-performance run at New York’s Brick Theater, as part of the month-long Comic Book Theater Festival. Tonight starts the run of the remaining three performances (June 28, 29, July 1st – all at 7 PM). To mark the launch of the adaptation, I conducted a brief email interview with the wife and husband team of Skillman and Van Lente. Here’s  the official play description: “The award-winning, best-selling comics series is adapted for the stage by award-winning playwright Crystal Skillman and directed by John Hurley as the lives and thoughts of history’s A-list brain trust leap to the stage in manic, hilarious fashion. Come meet PLATO—Wrestling Superstar of Ancient Greece! NIETZSCHE—The Original Übermensch! The torrid love affairs of AYN RAND! And more! From Impetuous Theater Group who brought you Hack! an I.T. Spaghetti Western.

Tim O’Shea: How long had you two been discussing a potential Skillman adaptation of a Van Lente-related project?

Crystal Skillman: For a while! Fred and I have been working together on a few projects still in the works – but this is really our first collaboration debut. I love Fred’s work, and his feedback on my own work has always been the most important to me. In general we’ve always acted as each other’s editors and sounding boards for ideas – I really take Fred’s opinion super seriously (as he’s the best writer I know besides being the most wonderful husband which I’m not just saying because he’s about to chime in here!) J But Action Philosophers! really came about because the original play Fred and I were working on wasn’t ready for the Comic Book Festival at the Brick. We realized this late in the game and had already started forming a team (including director John Hurley). In a pinch I suggested adapting Action Philosophers! which I always thought would make an awesome stage production and would be great for the team we were already assembling.

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