The cliché is that every actor wants to direct. Sometimes they try their hand at writing too, and turn out predictable stories about a character played by the author. Zach Braff, star of the TV show “Scrubs,” seemed to do that with his 2004 film “Garden State” — except that the movie was actually rich, surprising and quirky.
On July 25 Braff opened his first play off-Broadway, at New York’s Second Stage Theatre, though he neither stars nor directs. Titled “All New People,” the story takes place on Long Beach Island, New Jersey. Charlie (Justin Bartha) is in the process of attempting to commit suicide when he’s interrupted first by a ditzy British realtor (Krysten Ritter), then by her fireman friend (David Wilson Barnes) and finally by an escort (Anna Camp) sent by Charlie’s friend to cheer him up. The Arty Semite caught up with Braff in the play’s final week of previews, while Braff was in Detroit acting in Sam Raimi’s “Oz: The Great and Powerful,” due out in 2013.
Gwen Orel: What made you decide not to act in your own play?