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The Multi-Faceted Aurin Squire, Playwright for “A Wonderful World”

The Multi-Faceted Aurin Squire, Playwright for “A Wonderful World”

 

 





Introduction to Aurin Squire.   1:28 min.  Interview:  Raymond Elman.  Post-Production:  Lee Skye.  Music: Evan Elman,  Recorded via Zoom:  8/2/2021, Miami.

 

AURIN SQUIRE is a playwright, screenwriter, and reporter. He has written numerous plays, while his reporting has appeared in The New Republic, Talking Points Memo, Chicago Tribune, Miami Herald, and ESPN, among other outlets.

Born and raised in Opa-locka, Florida, Squire graduated from The Juilliard School, The Actors Studio at New School University, and Northwestern University, where he majored in radio/TV/film and worked as a professional journalist for the Chicago Tribune and the Miami Herald. In his senior year, “Shadows in the Light,” an epic play about Cuban immigrants in Miami, was produced by the ETA Theatre in Chicago. At Juilliard he was in the school’s playwriting fellowship while working for The New Republic and Talking Points Memo as a journalist.

Many of Squire’s plays revolve around multiracial societies in transition or America’s changing cultural make-up. His work reflects the Latino, African, Caribbean, African-American, and Jewish cultures he grew up around in South Florida.

Squire was a part of the Lincoln Center Lab and his comedy “The Great Black Sambo Machine” was presented there and at Ars Nova the following year.

In 2007, Squire spent a year in Albuquerque, New Mexico, working with artists Leigh Fondakowski and Krista DeNio on a docudrama about Converso and Crypto-Jewish families who fled the Spanish Inquisition and settled in Arizona and New Mexico. Squire was commissioned to interview surviving Crypto- and Converso-Jewish residents, research, and collaborate to create what became ”A Light In My Soul/Una Luz En Mi Alma.” The epic docudrama was performed by Working Classroom Theatre the following year at the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque, and received additional performances around New Mexico.

Squire’s off-Broadway plays, such as “Matthew Takes Mannahatta” and “To Whom It May Concern,” have been produced around New York and the United States. His plays have also been produced at off-Broadway and regional venues including Brooklyn Arts Exchange, Ars Nova, Vital Theatre, ArcLight Theatre, Cherry Lane, and Barrington Stage Company.

His play “Obama-ology” was developed at The Juilliard School in 2014 New Play Festival, before opening to critical acclaim in London’s West-End at the Finborough Theatre, and then the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA).

Freefalling” premiered at Barrington Stage before receiving a second run at InspiraTO Theatre in Toronto.

Squire graduated from The Juilliard School in May 2015.

His play, “Fire Season,” world premiered at the Seattle Public Theater in January 2019.

Squire was a co-writer for “Confessions of a Cocaine Cowboy,” a world-premiere documentary theatre piece based on Billy Corben’s Cocaine Cowboys documentaries. The play was commissioned by Miami New Drama, and ran at the Colony Theatre from March 7 – April 7 of 2019.

Squire was the book writer for “A Wonderful World,” a world-premiere musical based on the life of Louis Armstrong, and told from the perspective of the musician’s four wives, which premiered at Miami New Drama at the Colony Theatre on Lincoln Road in Miami Beach in December, 2021.

 

The videos below were recorded via Zoom, are organized by Success Factor, and run between 30 seconds and 8 minutes. Click on any video. You must be connected to the Internet to view the videos.

 

 

VALUES FIRST-RATE EDUCATION:   1:32 min.





What’s your earliest memory of art of any discipline?

 

INSIGHT & INSPIRATION:   1:33 min.





When did you become interested in writing, and when did you realize you had a talent for it?

 

DEVELOP A VOICE:  0:58 sec.





Sports Illustrated and the sports sections of the Boston Globe and the New York Times had some really outstanding writers over the years.

 

CRITICAL THINKING:  0:51 sec.





A few years ago at the Miami Book Fair, I recorded a video interview with New Yorker writer William Finnegan, who received a Pulitzer Prize for his memoir, “Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life.”

 

EXPOSURE TO BROAD INFLUENCES:  3:44 min.





Who are some of your role models and influencers?

 

EXPOSURE TO BROAD INFLUENCES:  2:03 min.





At what age did you start listening to audio books with your Dad? Was he a write as well?

 

SEIZES OPPORTUNITIES:   0:40 sec.





Your reading list at a young age blows my mind. Did people consider you to be a prodigy?

 

SERENDIPITY:  4:17 min.





You attended several elite schools. How did they get on your radar screen?

 

OPEN TO CHANGE, FLEXIBILITY:  1:41 min.





Coming from Miami, how long did it take you to adjust to winters in Chicago?

 

SEIZES OPPORTUNITIES:  3:30 min.





You have written for so many different mediums. Describe the arc of your career.

 

PERSEVERANCE FURTHERS:  2:41 min.





How did you develop the opportunity to write the play “A Wonderful World,” the new musical about the life of Louis Armstrong?

 

COLLABORATION:  1:45 min.





Whose idea was it to view Louis Armstrong’s life through the eyes of the four main women in his life?

 

UNDERSTANDS ARTISTS’ NEEDS:  0:34 sec.





Were you involved with the casting of “A Wonderful World”?

 

COLLABORATION:  0:45 sec.





Did you premiere “A Wonderful World” in Miami because of your prior experience with Michel Hausmann, artistic director of Miami New Drama?

 

COMMUNITY VALUES:  0:29 sec.





Until I saw the play, I wasn’t aware that a Jewish family played a big role in Louis Armstrong’s early life.

 

SERENDIPITY + LISTENING:  15:02 min.





What has been the role of serendipity in your career?

 

SERENDIPITY:  1:42 min.





How did you cast the role of Louis Armstrong?

 

COLLABORATION:  2:23 min.





How did you and Billy Corben unite to create the theatrical version of his film “Cocaine Cowboys”?

 

EMPATHY:  3:58 min.





Do you consider the demographics of your audience when you write a play like “A Wonderful World”?

 

EMPATHY:  4:22 min.





What are your thoughts about White America’s growing awareness of the huge suppression of Black history?