Getting to know RNPF Playwrights – David Ross


Rockford New Play Festival: Hi, David. Would you mind telling us where you’re from and where you live now?

David Ross: I was born and raised in Chicago. After a dozen years traveling as a journalist, I settled in Rockford where I went back to school and morphed into a writing teacher. 

RNFP: So glad you ended up in Rockford. And congratulations on being selected for the Festival! Can you tell us a little about Roundabout Rumble?

David: Roundabout Rumble is a satire inspired by disproportionate controversy over replacing a local neighborhood four-way stop intersection with a circular traffic flow pattern. It deals with the classic issue of clinging to tradition versus embracing change. The theme also has global implications about how quick on the trigger opposing nations are to wage war. 

RNFP: What playwrights, authors or other artists do you consider as major influences of your own work? 

David: Sophocles probably had the most impact. I was always fascinated by Greek mythology. But when I played Oedipus in his Oedipus Rex, the word “tragedy” really started to make sense. Far as poetry goes, Whitman (Leaves of Grass) and Frost (just about everything he wrote) influenced my work for polar reasons. With regard to prose, Kerouac (On the Road) knocked my socks off.  

RNFP: What appeals to you about writing for the stage vs. other forms of dramatic storytelling?

David: Scripts give me a chance to act like a ventriloquist. Playwrights merely put words in the mouths of actors who then turn them into to creative living characters. Without casts, playwrights would have no audiences. No other form of writing is that co-dependent. That is what is so special about this genre.

RNFP: What’s next for you? Any projects you’re currently working on or plans for the near future?

David: I am in the process of adapting chapters of an unpublished novel into shorter bites of prose and poetry to submit to literary magazines and writing contests.


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