Meet the Playwright: Fred Tonge

In this weeklong series, we’re introducing our fabulous playwrights with work in the 26th Playwrights’ Forum Festival at Spokane Civic Theatre. We asked each of our playwrights a few questions about themselves and their entries, so you’ll know a bit about them before you see their works Friday and Saturday!

Time to get acquainted with our next playwright!

Introducing: Fred Tonge

 FredTonge  Name: Fred Tonge

   Lives in: Ashland, Oregon

   Playwright of: Stopgap

   Current occupation: Retired. Formerly computer science
                                      researcher and teacher.

Did you go to school to learn how to be a playwright?

If so: where? If not: how did you learn?

No formal training. Joined a playwrights’ group after retirement; learned from others and by writing and rewriting.

What is Stopgap about?

Three seniors share their thoughts on memory, or lack thereof. Humorous and thought-provoking.

What inspired you to write this piece?

I read an interview with Tom Stoppard in which he mentioned dropping the pursuit of a play on memory loss, after 6 months of research, because it was a subject for brain scientists and philosophers. That night, when I could go back to sleep, I just started writing the first draft of this play.

Are you going to be in the audience this weekend?

Yes, I will be attending this weekend.

Anything interesting about yourself, your play, or your experience that you’d like to share?

My other retirement activity is weaving, mostly tapestries.

Stopgap is one of six one-act plays showing at the sold out Playwrights’ Forum Festival this year – and one of five competition pieces. Each of the five pieces will be competing to win the Adjudicator’s Choice Award, and an Audience Choice Award.