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Honky

nytheatre.com q&a preview by Greg Kalleres
March 20, 2013

What is your job on this show?
Playwright.

What is your show about?
A dark comedy about advertising, basketball shoes, and a pill to cure racism.

When did you know you wanted to work in the theater, and why?
I always wanted to write, but I didn’t know I wanted to write plays until I saw the cat monologue in the Broadway revival of Albee’s A Delicate Balance. Of course, about a year ago I was reading a forward by David Ives where he said his first inspiration for writing plays was the cat monologue in the original 1967 Broadway production of the same play. So, on one hand, it’s nice to know the cat monlogue still plays. On the other, I feel like I need a new story.

Complete this sentence: My show is the only one opening in NYC this winter that...?
Makes fun of Abraham Lincoln. (As far as I know)

Why did you want to write/direct/produce/act in/work on this show?
I use to work as an advertising copywriter and I have always been struck by how white the industry is. And because much of the time we were marketing to non-whites, often people were forced to speak very comfortably about topics with which they were clearly less than comfortable. And this lead to some extremely awkward, funny and revealing conversations. I feel like we’re in sort of a racial awkward phase in this country. And language, the words we use or don’t use or how we use them, end up making all the difference. And as a playwright, I found this really fun to explore.

Groucho, Chico, Harpo, or Zeppo?
Groucho. And Harpo on Sunday.

If you had ten million dollars that you had to spend on theatrical endeavors, how would you use the money?
Ten million dollars. So what is that equal? One musical based on movie that was based on a musical? I think if I had that much, I’d probably spend it on a space where I could produce new plays by new playwrights writing for new theater audiences. A small stage. Minimalist sets. Normal sized actors. Passionate director. And maybe some mediocre popcorn. Are we up to ten million yet? Okay, forget the stage.