With 31 Plays, Ward is taking stock of his professional and personal life, addressing many troubling realizations, for instance that he’s addicted to taking selfies.  “I basically want to bring my mid-life crisis out of my basement and put it on display for all the world to see.  It’s my own personal moral inventory, my blog on stage, a theatrical selfie that I hope others will identify with.”  

 

In the midst of attempting to write 31 plays in 31 days, Ward was given a copy of David Shield's How Literature Saved my Life which he cites as a major influence, though an unusual one for a dramatist.  “Shields is championing a new kind of literature that lies somewhere between fiction, memoir, essay, collage, and anything else at the artist’s disposal.  He’s bored with the novel.  I realized in reading his book that I was bored writing plays.  It not only ruined my chances of writing thirty-one plays, but it may have ruined my life.  31 Plays is a culmination of all of these things.  It’s me putting myself on trial to find out if I actually believe any of the crap I post on Facebook and Twitter, or the crap I shovel in my letters of inquiry for grants and fellowships.  I’d also like to figure out why I can’t keep a job.”