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First Published Monday, 24 November 2008

Eric Scot Frydler

Unique perspective

Through isolation comes creation for playwright whose condition has always given him a different take

By James Hebert

10:21 a.m. November 23, 2008

On the days and nights when he was writing “The Magical Forest,” an original musical about the wonders and fragility of nature, Eric Scot Frydler only had to look out his back door for inspiration.

Frydler and his wife, Stephanie, live on Box Canyon, a natural preserve in the La Costa section of Carlsbad. For Frydler, the place’s appeal lies not just in its scenery, but its solitude.

“I’ll share a secret with you,” he says. “I don’t really like to be around people a lot, because it takes my energy away. To do what I’m doing, I need to get inside my own world in a sanctuary kind of setting. And that’s not always easy to do. But I really treasure that part of it, because it allows me to create.”

It’s not that Frydler, who describes himself as “50-ish,” doesn’t like people. It’s just that for much of his life, figuring out the complexities and nuances of social relationships has been a struggle, a grappling with mysteries maybe as deep as any in the fantasy world of “The Magical Forest.”

For a long time, Frydler didn’t know why human relationships were such a struggle. Then, through extensive counseling, it became apparent what was affecting him was an undiagnosed case of autism.

Though it typically presents challenges in three areas – social skills, language and stereotyped or repetitive behavior – autism encompasses a broad spectrum of disability and occurs in endless combinations of symptoms.

Frydler might be more mildly affected than many autistic people, but his accomplishments as a musician and writer – not to mention toy designer – speak to how little a label sometimes serves to define human potential. In Frydler’s case, ironically, the label of autism helped free him from years of frustration and confusion.

“The hard part is when you’re not completely clear what it is that you have,” he says. “It was hard to pin it down to one thing, because I was just normal enough to pass by.

“It came later, where it became clear looking backward. Like, ‘Oh my god, this is really what you’ve been coping with your whole life.’ “

As a boy growing up in Manhattan, Frydler admits, “I never conformed very well to any school environment. Which is a polite way of saying I had a lot of trouble in school.”

But he did have parents who took him to theater and musical performances and encouraged his interest in music, as well as myriad other pursuits. As Frydler puts it: “I spent as much time at the planetarium as at theaters.”

Starting in his late teens, Frydler worked with an off-off-Broadway theater called the Performing Gallery, becoming immersed in the world of writing, composing and performing.

He also says he learned much from Laszlo Halasz, the first director of the New York City Opera, who took an interest in the young composer (according to Frydler) and allowed him to audit graduate classes at the Juilliard School and Stony Brook University.

Eventually, Frydler moved to Los Angeles, where he “learned about the wonderful world of rejection” while trying to break into entertainment there. But he also made a name for himself in the toy field, developing hundreds of product concepts and creating comic books distributed with Mattel action figures.

After moving to Carlsbad 12 years ago and meeting his wife-to-be (who did the costumes for “The Magical Forest”), he continued composing and writing. “Dracula,” staged early last year, was his first show at Coronado Playhouse, paving the way for “The Magical Forest,” which has its final performance today.

The play is “not just a fairy tale,” he notes. “It’s a more involved story about environmental pollution, and saving animals and saving ourselves.”

Frydler is already deep into his next two projects: “Sumatra,” which he calls a “darker, deeper tableau” than “Forest”; and “Wingkind,” an opera based on genetic engineering.

“I seem to be flowing with the music,” he says of the work now. “I’m not even sure where that’s all coming from. It doesn’t flow all the time. So when it does, when the spigot is turned open, it’s not something you want to tamper with.”

In work, and maybe now in life, he can go with the flow.

James Hebert: (619) 293-2040; jim.hebert@uniontrib.com

THEATER ARTIST: Eric Scot Frydler

LATEST WORKS: “Dracula,” “The Magical Forest,” Coronado Playhouse.

IN PROGRESS: “Sumatra,” “Wingkind” (theatrical/operatic works)

OTHER ROLES: Playwriting, acting, toy design

WEB SITE: coronadoplayhouse.com

KEY QUOTES: “It was obvious something was different, because at 5, I was getting report cards saying, Eric is an enigma. Or a nonconformist. I was not following things the way I was expected. I was in my own world half the time, and nobody understood why.”


Source:   http://www3.signonsandiego.com/stories/2008/nov/23/n8719210216-unique-perspective/?zIndex=15337

Eric Scot Frydler in Dracula at the Coronado Playhouse

Eric Scot Frydler (Composer, Publicist, and Co-Producer) has a wide range of creative skills covering music composition, product design and feature writing. He was a founding member of the Performing Gallery in New York City. Recent credits include: playwright, composer, and lyricist of The Magical Forest, an original 3-act musical; composer Scarred, a film western; composer, lyricist, producer Vampyre, a music video; composer The Last Supper, a film, and Sweet Amazon, a documentary. In addition to his musical gifts (he was invited to audit graduate classes at Stony Book and Julliard while still a teenager), Eric is an advanced concepts inventor for both Hasbro and Mattel. As a visionary member of the Mattel Research & Development team, he created many characters, designing and writing “He-Man” and “She-Ra” comic books packed out with the action figures collected to this day.

Source:  http://www.coronadoplayhouse.com/dracula/crew/frydler.html

The Magical Forest ~ An Original Musical by Eric Scot Frydler

Eric Scot Frydler (Playwright, Composer, Lyricist, Music Director, and Executive Producer) Eric Scot Frydler, musical composer, playwright and lyricist, diagnosed with autism as a child, uses his inward focus to fuel his creative genius and share it with the world in his latest, wildly imaginative musical The Magical Forest. Eric Scot Frydler is pleased to bring his original new musical production The Magical Forest to the Coronado Playhouse and to be working with such a talented cast and crew. Aubrey Award-winner for Production of a Drama for Dracula with Rosemary Harrison, Eric also composed the original music score to the multiple award-winning 2007 production at Coronado Playhouse. His music score to The Last Supper aired on national television this past Easter. Eric’s surpassing talents encompass playwrighting, composing, designing and invention. He was on the brainstorming team that created “He-Man, Masters of the Universe” and “She-Ra, Princess of Power” at Mattel Toys, Inc. and is currently on the advanced concepts outside inventor list for Hasbro. As a teenager, Eric was discovered by Maestro Laszlo Halasz and invited to audit graduate music classes at The Julliard and Stony Brook universities. Eric is currently composing for film and theater, developing new musical enchantments, Sumatra, a new musical, and The Last Christmas Tree a new musical television play. He resides in San Diego with his partner, costume and creature designer, Stephanie Daniels Frydler and their cats Bodhi and Ellie May.

Source:   http://www.coronadoplayhouse.com/magical_forest/crew-bios/frydler-eric.html

The Magic Flower


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