JARED MICHAEL DELANEY is a playwright & actor based in Philadelphia, Pa. He has had three short plays produced as part of the Philadelphia FringeArts Festival. His full-length play, The Hand of Gaul was produced in 2013 (Inis Nua Theatre) and his play Noli Timere (Don't Be Afraid) premiered 2017 (Theatre Conspiracy). His comedy Paint It Black, You Devil was accepted into The Greenhouse workshop with Strange Sun Theatre. A third piece, Child of Lions, was accepted to the HRC Showcase Theatre’s Reading Series and was named “Honorable Mention” in the New Works of Merit Playwriting Competition. His comedy, The Cannibal of Ajax, will be part of Best Medicine Rep’s Reading Series in May 2018. His play, Voyager One, will have a professional development reading for New Jersey Repertory Company, April 2018 and was named a Semi-Finalist for the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s 2018 National Playwrights’ Conference. He has written for newspapers & magazines. M.F.A. Stage & Screen Writing, Queens University of Charlotte. M.A. Theatre Arts, Villanova University. Member, AEA; Dramatists’ Guild; New Play Exchange; The Playwrights’ Center; Association of Writers & Writing Programs.
I grew up in northeastern Pennsylvania, child of the first generation of an Irish-Catholic family that had reached levels of higher education. Grounded in a staunchly Democratic ethos, that put high value on the virtues of hard work and fairness, along with a joy of storytelling. As a result of this upbringing, I came to view the theatre as a profession no different in its way from my grandfathers' (one a dry cleaner, the other worked for a local bank). Go to work, do your job, go home. In other words, the theatre is still a workplace.
Having said that, however, being workmanlike doesn’t mean abandoning what makes it unique: Theatricality.
This term, theatricality, can be hard to define. But like pornography, you know it when you see it. It’s what expands the world of the play beyond the walls of the theater. Moments wherein we forget that we are sitting in the dark anonymously and instead are transported to another place entirely. As theatre artists, I believe we should be doing our part to make those moments as palpable, powerful, strange and compelling as we can. And I gotta say, another domestic drama that features a couch as its central set feature isn’t going to get ‘er done. But one wherein the couch becomes a luminous creature from the ether (or you know...whatever), that could do the trick. In my case, the theatricality is a pride of lions on stage, a mysterious being that vanishes in a ﬂash of light, a closet in a politician’s office that absolutely vomits detritus and a man seeming to shrink every time he appears during a Rolling Stones’ concert in 1969.
We’re in the theatre, for Pete’s sake. Let’s have a little magic.
According to Shakespeare, the actor’s job, and by extension, the theatre’s, is “...to hold, as ‘twere, the mirror up to nature.” In other words, yes, we should reflect what we see around us, but not replicate it. This is an incredibly important distinction and one which we must do a better job to honor if we want the theatre to continue to live in a world of endless choice and content. There are strange and fascinating worlds hidden in those reflections. They surely deserve as much exploration as our own.
So that’s the art.
As for me?
I’m a lover of soccer, pro cycling, Notre Dame football and Villanova basketball. My obsession with live music is a problem. Like maybe needing to be in “concert-going rehab” problem. I’ve probably seen your favorite band. Twice. I like comics, horror flicks and playing cards (pitch, anyone?). I like hiking and bike riding and adventures. I owe my mother everything and grateful to my father for everything else. Got a great brother, cool sister-in-law and two fantastic twin nephews. And a woman who I adore.
And I think shine may be the greatest word in the English language.
Go outside. Listen to some music. Laugh a bit. Read a play. Live your life.
Thank you for your time and consideration.*
*if you’re curious, I was listening to Greensky Bluegrass while editing this. Give ‘em a try.