\n William Hauptman, author



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William Hauptman, headshot

The purpose of this website is to introduce myself to new readers, to tell old ones where my work can be found, and to alert everyone to new publications and productions.

My work has always been about identity, the search for the self. From the time I was a child I wanted to be an actor, and later studied drama at the University of Texas. I believe that serious actors are searching for themselves with every role they play.

There is also the fun of playing roles that are nothing like yourself. When I first came to New York and couldn't get a role, I became an office temporary. I enjoyed this very much because every job was a new role. When I worked for a hospital, I played the role of a doctor. When I worked for Cosmopolitan, I began writing articles for the magazine in which I played the role of the Cosmopolitan Girl.

When I couldn't find any audition monologues that suited me, I began writing them for myself. These became a play, which I sent to the Yale School of Drama and was accepted as a playwright. When my plays had some success in New York, I began to think of myself as a writer.

In 1980 I started going back to Texas, where I discovered many people were so frustrated by their lives they were turning what I might call their secret identities into new roles, new jobs--becoming Elvis impersonators and tornado chasers. I found this working-class version of the search for the self so interesting that I began to write stories about these people and eventually a novel, The Storm Season.

There are many writers I admire and re-read every year. Some are Walker Percy, Patrick O'Brien, Robert Stone, Anton Chekhov, and my childhood favorite, Ernest Thompson Seaton.