Jack L. B. Gohn

Writer, Critic & Playwright

Jack L. B. Gohn

Writer, Critic & Playwright

 

Though I practiced law for over a third of a century,

I have been a writer from childhood.

And even with a full-time practice, I never really stopped publishing in various papers, magazines and journals. I was bound to reach a point eventually of deciding I wanted to be a writer and nothing else. This website features three things I do now that the point has been reached. I review theater, write plays, and for a decade and a half, wrote a column commenting on law and policy. Common to all these pursuits is a commitment to fact and principles. You can’t run a society or write a play (or about one) well without candor, consistency, and a sense of humaneness and decency. Embodied in these pages is the history of my efforts in each of these pursuits.

Plays by Jack Gohn

I largely write about lawyers, but these are not conventional lawyer dramas. There’s a story of how legal careers begin, another about how they (and others) end. There’s a ghost story. There’s a thriller that does not include a single courtroom scene. And, moving away from my former profession, there’s a play about God – maybe told from God’s perspective, maybe not. And there will be more.

Theater Reviews & Commentary

Most Recent Post

A Sure-Footed BRIGHTON BEACH MEMOIRS at Vagabond Players

Neil Simon’s indecision about genre in Brighton Beach Memoirs was related to his problem being direct about his parents. A true account would necessarily have revealed their fighting, his father’s desertions and infidelities, and the eventual failure of their marriage, and could only have been presented as a tragedy or melodrama. A comedy (and Brighton Beach is formally a comedy) would need to present a sanitized version of what Simon remembered; it would satisfy his audience (which expected comedies) and his parents, but it would also come further from the flavor Simon wanted to present. What we get in consequence is a play in three somewhat inconsistent genres.

read more

Theater Reviews & Commentary

Most Recent Post

A Sure-Footed BRIGHTON BEACH MEMOIRS at Vagabond Players

Neil Simon’s indecision about genre in Brighton Beach Memoirs was related to his problem being direct about his parents. A true account would necessarily have revealed their fighting, his father’s desertions and infidelities, and the eventual failure of their marriage, and could only have been presented as a tragedy or melodrama. A comedy (and Brighton Beach is formally a comedy) would need to present a sanitized version of what Simon remembered; it would satisfy his audience (which expected comedies) and his parents, but it would also come further from the flavor Simon wanted to present. What we get in consequence is a play in three somewhat inconsistent genres.

read more

“You can’t run a society or write a play well without candor, consistency, or a sense of humaneness and decency. The critic, the creator, the pundit: all of them are guard dogs protecting these values.”

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