Episode 230: Greg Kotis


The building across the street was on fire the night we sat down to talk. The entire floor smelled of smoke and if you looked out the window, you might have thought the world was coming to an end. It's probably as good a backdrop as any for a interview that quickly shifts into an impending sense of gloom during this age of Trump. Honestly, I can’t remember what was in the news that week, but I’m sure it was plenty bad. Kotis has a knack for timing. His best known work, the dystopian satire Urinetown: The Musical opened on Broadway September 13th, 2001. Sure, everyone in New York has a 9/11 story, but his seemed strangely appropriate given the subject matter.  As Kotis tells it, that timing sometimes works to his advantage, as the musical was something of a Hail Mary pass for himself and Mark Hollmann, one final shot living the life of a playwright before the realities of adulthood really settled in. Kotis discusses his early days in New York, as a writer turned location scout, and the importance of satire even when it seems that all is lost.

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