Months before world events made 2020 a remarkable—and remarkably difficult—year, playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins and I had a conversation about something that happened in 1997. That year, The Paris Review dedicated its Spring issue to the theater. The team assembled a tall stack of Art of Theater interviews and held a contest for verse drama. (According to George Plimpton, plenty of submitters were unaware of the verse stipulation, but the editors considered their work all the same, and lucky for us: one of the winners was a young Martin McDonagh.) They published three plays and five interviews, and a magazine that fairly adamantly avoids themed issues had, if not a theme, then an organizing principle for the quarter.