Annie Baker: When I was seventeen I started secretly recording people and then transcribing everything, twenty pages of a so-called banal conversation, and then marveling at how beautiful it was when you just write down exactly what people say.
Matthew Neill Null: You go to the family cemetery, and it’s dense with infants. They have nothing to tell us.
Baker: I do have a slightly different metabolism.
Null: I don’t have a regimen, really.
Baker: To me it always feels like it’s falling apart.
Null: What’s the point of being endlessly patted on the head?
Baker: The specificity of it is so awesome.
Null: You’re in Los Angeles, I’m on Cape Cod.
Baker: In contemporary American theater, especially in the world of nonprofits and older subscriber audiences, there’s all this stress about making things clearer for the audience.
Null: That’s cold comfort, but it’s better than nothing, which is what we have now, along with torn-up roads and bridges from all those Schlumberger trucks.
Baker: Everything I’m about to say might be obvious, but I do think there’s something special about the thing happening in front of you.
Null: I saw a mountain lion tearing into a team of horses, the blood on the snow, the chains snapping and shooting links.
Baker: But I wasn’t conscious of experimenting with that, or trying to show people anything.
Null: Tear up your map, bury your wallet, vanish.
Baker: Yeah. Although who knows.