|Playwright Richard Schotter|
As the play developed, I added other members of the family Sussman into the mix, many of whom were musicians as well—Charlie’s daughter-in-law, Deirdre, a concert pianist and Charlie’s granddaughter Miranda, a budding violinist and actress. So, music became not merely an aspect of the play but a metaphor for what the play was about—the ways in which families attempt, but don’t always succeed, in living together harmoniously.
Charlie’s son, Jonathan, is a Shakespeare scholar who’s editing an edition of The Tempest. As I continued to write, more and more references to The Tempest kept popping into my head, and I realized that the play also dealt with some of the themes and ideas that Shakespeare’s play explored—an enchanted seaside, storms, an autocratic father and a sprightly daughter, themes of captivity and freedom, magic and language.
All of these things, and many more, came together in the writing of The Sussman Variations. What I hope emerged is a lyrical, loving and moving play about families, forgiveness and the power of love and music.
Richard Schotter, Playwright
The Sussman Variations