Writers often turn to their own biographical experience for material. Sometimes, they even dig into their own preconceptions about how they perceived the events in their lives. But rarely do they turn the work itself into an exploration of how we interpret our lives.
Lisa Kron’s Tony Award-nominated Well features the playwright herself and her mother, Ann, as its two main characters. But it’s not just a story about the relationship between a mother and a daughter. As Jane and other individuals on stage break through to acknowledge the theatrical work in progress, Well becomes a self-reflective meditation on the act of turning biography into art. Is the writer fully in control of the way the material unfolds, or will it be necessary to peel back layers of interpretation? How well does Kron really know her mother—or, for that matter, how well does she really know herself? It’s about a life, but also about a life exploring itself.