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Kings

nytheatre.com q&a preview by Anna Governali
February 28, 2013

What is your job on this show?
Playwright/Director..

What is your show about?
KINGS is a play that tells the journey of a young graffitti artist, Israel "Izzy" Flores as he sets out on his quest to become King, he finds his mother and himself.

When did you know you wanted to work in the theater, and why?
I think I always knew that I wanted to work in theatre. I was writing plays long before my first production. I think it was just about a matter of timing for me. Honestly, there is no right time for things. You really can’t bank on that. I reached this point in my life where I was evaluating the direction I was going in. Writing was something I was always doing. That was always a consistent factor in my life. I just had to decide what I was going to do with it. After taking a playwriting class, I felt ready to send out my first script. I never have been as focused as I am now. A lot comes along with the territory of pursuing your dream on a professional level. Every day I walk into the studio, I feel so fortunate. Theatre has definitely been a labor of love for me with all the pros and cons that come along with it. I just have to remind myself that no one ever said it would be easy and if it was meant to be easy then everyone would be doing it. So, it definitely takes a certain kind of person to just throw the cards of life into the air and trust where ever it is they may fall.

Why do you do theater (as opposed to film, or TV, or something not in the entertainment field)?
I have to agree with Oscar Wilde when he said he “regards the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being.” Who’s to say what I’ll do in the future? Anything is a possibility. Right now, theatre is my focus. There is just something so raw and intimate about it. We are immersed in this story that unfolds right before us. We have this opportunity to connect with the characters on a deep and personal level. It shows us the human struggle allowing us to embrace our flaws, imperfections and accept ourselves for who we are. It reminds us this is what it’s like to be human. This is what it’s like to be in love. This like what it’s like to make a mistake. This is what it’s like to live. It’s comforting. It let’s us know that we are not alone.

What is one specific thing that you hope audiences will realize you’ve contributed to the production?
In KINGS, we follow the protagonist Izzy on his journey to find his place amongst the greats as he is searching for his long lost mother, Gloria. The only thing I can hope for is that my audience takes away the message of hope-- that there is still hope out there. There is hope and there is help. You do not have to be defined or consumed by your environment that there is always a way out.

Which famous person would you most like to get a fan letter from: Meryl Streep, Lindsay Lohan, Steven Spielberg, Philip Seymour Hoffman?
I want to save Lindsay Lohan. A good script would put Lindsay back on the map. However, there would be no special Lohan treatment. Then, I would like to get a letter from Steven Spielberg inquiring about my techniques, as Merly Streep would thank me for my notable efforts.

How important is diversity to you in the theater you see/make?
When I wrote KINGS, I knew I would have the chance to bring a beautiful and diverse multi-cultural cast to the stage. It was important to me to do so because I honestly feel like there is a lack of diversity in theatre. It’s like we are literally over looking an entire demographic of potential theatre-goers. As a playwright and director, theatre has always represented an opportunity— an opportunity to tell a story, to shed light on social issues and overall, to really provide that glimpse into the human struggle, regardless, of race, sex or ethnicity.