For the past 19 years, DAVID HIRSCH has been the playwright for spring performances at J.L. Long Middle School. It helps that he has a good connection — his wife, Beverly, is the school’s choir director and oversees the show each year. Hirsch’s latest is called “Caveopolis,” the story about a city of injustice, where truth will prevail.

Tell me about how the school plays make it to the stage.
It’s really Beverly’s show. If she didn’t teach and beat the kids into knowing this stuff, it wouldn’t matter what I wrote. I write kind of a cross between Monty Python and Disney. I had been working in corporate communications, and I decided to change and be around for my daughter to grow up. That was 19 years ago, and I twisted Beverly’s arm and said, ‘Let me write you an original musical.’

What kind of plays do you usually write?
I write a lot of stuff that is aimed at the parents. It is like [Monty] Python always did, where there are layers, and there is always something deeper depending on how far you want to go.

Your wife mentioned that you write moral stories, looking at what is going on in the world at the time.
If given enough time, you can back a story into anything. I will use an example of the movie “Home Alone.” All the stuff is pretty zany and crazy, but in the end it was nothing but a heartwarming family values film — don’t leave your kids alone, love is important, and family matters. Basically, I throw in so much goofy stuff that the kids don’t realize they are getting a moral story. “Caveopolis” is a little darker than usual. Last year was “Slug City,” and this year is “Caveopolis,” so I am doing a city series. They are all human spirit things — last year was beauty, and this year is humanity.

Do you write plays full-time now?
No, however my business is almost all school-oriented. I do three things: I videotape productions that other schools do around the Metroplex, I record concerts and sell CDs, and I do sound for live shows. For example, [Woodrow Wilson] High School will hire me to come in and do the live sound for their musicals.

How have your plays evolved over the years?
I have just gotten better and tighter as a writer. I guess the best thing for me is that I have tried to begin work this year on my catalog of songs, which is well over 300. I am trying to put a CD together of that.

What was one of your most positive experiences while seeing your plays performed?
I enjoy being around the kids. It is not like the corporate work world, where the yelling and the screaming are terrible. Kids are happy and positive in what they are doing.

How is it working with your wife?
We are a combustible mixture, but we are still burning. We have been married 29 years this year. I tell people it is kind of like walking a trail. Everybody has their own trail. Some people have one little mountain on the trail, and some people have a huge one — we are more like peak, valley, peak, valley, but we are still on the same trail. We have fun, and I think the kids are always amazed. We play and fight around a lot as we are working, but the kids seem tickled to watch something of our dynamics at work.

See “Caveopolis” performed on J.L. Long’s stage, 6116 Reiger, on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, May 10-12 at 7:30 p.m. For information: 972-502-4700.


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