In his Pulitzer Prize-winning drama August: Osage County, playwright Tracy Letts took audiences deep inside the minds of an entire family. In his latest work Mary Page Marlowe, Letts takes them into the psyche of a single character. In addition to writing plays, Letts is also an accomplished actor. In 2012, he won a Tony for his role as George in the Broadway revival of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
In this extended conversation, Tracy Letts talks about his childhood growing up in a small town in Oklahoma. His parents were schoolteachers who became known for their writing and acting, and Letts caught both of those bugs from an earlier age. Letts tells Morning Shift host Tony Sarabia about the first story he ever wrote, which he penned in first grade. “The Psychopath” features a pretty grisly cover drawing: A man who hanged himself in a closet and shot himself in the head. He got an A+ on the assignment and says that in a different time, the story might have provoked a call to child services.
He also talks about his latest play, “Mary Page Marlowe,” which is currently on stage at Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre.