The Gray Area Season 2

Inside the Gray Area — “Our American Cousin”

April 10, 2020

Our showrunner Edward Champion discusses “Our American Cousin” – an episode sharing the title of a sinister play associated with Abraham Lincoln. He talks about the unusual origin of this episode (it started off as a text typed out on his telephone on a subway ride), finding one-way closure to a relationship by talking to yourself, the connections between “Brand Awareness” and “Our American Cousin,” finding empathy in a character by making him become aware of his consequences, delineating details about the parallel universes in the show, Hamilton, the experience of reading Tom Taylor's play, why Charlie Harrington is a sweetheart, why gentleness is important in emotional drama, Prince Hal in Henry IV, The Receptionist as a childish Falstaff, how the magnificent Zack Glassman (and the Receptionist) became a regular on the show, Tony Danza, the advantages of goofy characters, P.G. Wodehouse, finding an improvisation-friendly groove while recording, why The Receptionist's lines come so easy in the writing, Doc Brown in Back to the Future, the importance of taking emotional risks in drama, encouraging artistic freedom through a chill and relaxed environment, emotional vulnerability, how to give actors fun ways to use their imagination as a director, giving the right director's note, why trust and respect is important while making an audio drama, Greg as a version of the showrunner from ten years ago, and how the Trump era influenced the writing of Season 2. (Running time: 16 minutes, 44 seconds.)

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