Seduction in Seclusion

In contrast, an eleven-year gap stretches between 1983's Equinoccio (Equinox) and 1994's Interviu (Interview), a play written in Spanish and produced in Buenos Aires, and upon which 1996's English-language Lost Tango is based. Journalism, it seemed, had won out.

"First, I was a foreign correspondent traveling a lot, which makes it very hard to write a play," Diament observes. "When you live in many places it's difficult to find time to reflect, which is what dramatic writing requires."

Executive editorship at a magazine and then a newspaper followed. The fourteen- to sixteen-hour days filled with crises were so absorbing they precluded any time for literary pursuits. Then in 1993 Florida International University beckoned with an academic position.

"The moment I quit the newspaper, I sat down and wrote Interviu," Diament remembers. "It was fantastic. There was such a need in me to do that." It was as if the work was waiting to leap to the page after years of percolating in his mind.

Despite the demands of journalism that leave little time for composing plays, Diament maintains that the two disciplines can nourish each other. "I'm always thinking about dramatic situations and things that would work wonderfully on the stage," he explains. "I've used my sense of reality from journalism to develop plays that I consider political. And I use the sense of craziness of the theater and the weird look at reality that theater offers to do interesting journalism."

Lost Tango. Written by Mario Diament; directed by Joseph Adler; with Ellen Simmons and David M. Kwiat. Through September 22. For information call 954-929-5400 or see "Calendar Listings.

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