From Adam's always essential blog.
Q: Besides having plays on and off Broadway and in large regional
theaters, you have worked extensively in TV drama. How does one
navigate between the two worlds and how do you find time to do both?
When I was starting out as a playwright, there was still a bit of a
stigma attached to writing for TV. I didn’t actually work on a TV script
until Aaron Sorkin and John Wells invited me to be a part of The West
Wing in 1999. By that time, more and more playwrights were becoming
involved in both being on staff and in writing pilots. Now, I think
we’ve entered a kind of new golden age in writing for TV, and cable
shows especially are finding provocative, exciting ways to tell stories.
And it’s important for a playwright to learn the techniques of TV
writing, if only to make a living while you’re working on your next
play. I find the forms quite different, but that may be more because of
the kinds of plays I write. Writing for TV is a job, and highly
collaborative, and you’re often not the final arbiter of what gets on
the screen (including your credit). But, you learn how to work quickly
when you need to, and how to solve creative problems quickly, and you
can get paid nicely for your time. These are not necessarily bad things.