Inside D.C. entertainment

Did Patrick Howley have a promising career as a playwright?

October 17, 2011 - 02:34 PM
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Tiffani Thiessen
Tiffani Thiessen in 2010. (Photo: Peter Kramer/AP)

Patrick Howley's story is like a handful of sand -- the harder I try to grasp it, the more difficult it gets to hold.

The American Spectator reporter, who made waves last week with a hastily bowdlerized story about a demonstration at the National Air and Space Museum in which he and another person charged a guard, shares a name and a great physical likeness with a promising playwright from Avon, Conn., named Patrick Howley.

That Howley had not one but two of his works performed at the Young Playwrights Festival in Los Angeles. The 2008 work, selected when Howley was 18, is called Three Headed Dog and has a very intriguing description!

Heteros, step aside! In the glorious gay world of “Barney's” sales clerks, there is zero tolerance for breeders! Will one employee really lose his job when his secret life is revealed?

Even more unexpected, 90210 vet Tiffani Thiessen directed the play, and here is an amazing photo of her with someone who strongly resembles a young Howley and the cast.

I called Howley and left a message, which he has customarily declined to return (though I live in hope! Patrick, 703-842-1719, and I'm on email, too!). A phone call to the Blank Theatre Company, which produces the Young Playwright's Festival, led to no slam-dunk case that this was the same Howley I'm all aflutter about.

"I don't know what he's doing these days," says Ed Murphy, Blank's managing director, about young playwright Howley. He did say that that Howley attended the University of Iowa. Again, I don't know if this is the same guy; Murphy is looking for Howley's bio and said he'd send it to me if he can find it, at which point I will update this post.

In 2009, young playwright Howley had another play performed, I Get Knocked Down. The festival flier (PDF) summarized it thusly:

With all the trouble in the world today, a group of  college kids yearns for the good old days of 1998: Barenaked Ladies. Britney Spears. Monica Lewinsky. They decide to return to happier times by ignoring the present and living as if it were 1998. How long can the “98 Movement” last? 

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