Famed Playwright Neil LaBute Battles Stage Fright

"In the Company of Men" playwright Neil LaBute said he felt on edge about the Thursday night debut of his latest show starring David Duchovny and Amanda Peet.

"It is an exciting and horrifying thing," the famed scribe known for his dark and comedic explorations of morality told an intimate crowd at the Powerhouse Arena in Dumbo last night about the debut of his latest work, "The Break of Noon."

LaBute, whose "Reasons to Be Pretty" was nominated for a Tony in 2009, read from the new work, which chronicles the life of an employee who claims to see the face of God following the worst office shooting in America. LaBute also read from past work and shared a short story he wrote just that morning for the event.  

“I’m happy I still have a pleasure for writing,“ LaBute said. “I sit down and write things because I like it, not because it’s for anything but because it’s a pleasure to do it.”

LaBute also revealed why he tends to weave in corporate culture into his work. He said his fascination with business jargon developed when he worked at a software company while studying at NYU.

“I loved the sound of the foreign language that I didn’t understand in the offices,” LeBute said. “Nobody ever seemed to really be doing anything but would say, ‘I have this meeting and I have to file a 507 later today.’ I loved the banter, and I’ve put that into the world of the offices that I write about.”

“The Break of Noon” is debuting at the MCC Theater in Manhattan tonight.

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