What kind of question would you like answered?

Q: The characters in the play dress as White Sox players because they play for “the other team.” Are you a Cubs fan?

I am a Cubs fan, yeah, but that particular line was just meant to reflect that the school is on the northside of town (in the near north suburbs in fact).

The north side is associated with the Cubs; the south side with the Sox.

Q: Why do you use the word “andbutso” multiple times?

It’s a reference to David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest meant to indicate that my Will Grayson is fond of that book. Also I just like it as a conjunction.

Q: Can you explain how Schrodinger’s famous cat experiment related to Will/Jane and Will/Tiny?

Well, the reason Schrodinger’s Cat is so famous is not because it was a terribly important thought experiment (although it is a fairly important one), but because it is A. relatively easy to understand, and B. is metaphorically resonant for a lot of people.

Like, for a lot of people, the whole pleasure of being in a state of unknowing is that as long as you don’t know, all possible outcomes (kinda) feel as if they are happening.

When you press for an outcome (i.e., open the box) you get one outcome, but depending on how much you want the cat to be alive, that risk can feel like it is not worth taking.

Q: Was the title “Tiny Dancer” a reference to the song?


Funny story: For like the first 10 drafts, the musical was called “Hold Me Close Now: The Tiny Cooper Story,” and then finally David gently pointed out to me that the lyric was “Hold me CLOSER,” and…yeah. So I changed the title of the musical.

Q: The name Jello Biafra in Will Grayson’s fake ID is a reference to The Dead Kennedys. Are you a Dead Kennedys or punk music fan? Or did you just do research?

This will only disappoint you, but no, I’m not really a fan of the DKs. (Bear in mind that my three favorite bands are The Mountain Goats, The Mountain Goats, and my brother.)

But Will Grayson is not very much like me, and I wanted him to be the kind of guy who goes to a lot of shows and listens to music very broadly, and the Jello Biafra reference seemed like a way to establish that this is a young man who can enjoy both Neutral Milk Hotel and the Dead Kennedys.

Q: Why did you use Neutral Milk Hotel?

I just really like Neutral Milk Hotel, and I wanted the book to start out with these kids being very excited for something that ends up not happening even after extraordinary obstacles (not owning a car, not having a fake ID) are overcome.

I’m very glad if I’ve introduced anyone to their music. They’re pretty wonderful.

Q: Why Holland, 1945? Does the song have significance?

It’s my favorite Neutral Milk Hotel song. I know you guys are used to long discursive answers about all the symbolic resonances that were in my mind when I wrote this or that, but…yeah. It’s just my favorite.