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The Black Man-O-logues

nytheatre.com q&a preview by Jacquay Waller
June 27, 2013

What is your job on this show?
Playwright.

What is your show about?
Using black men as a lens, this show explores love from the male's perspective.

What do you do when you’re not working on a play?
I can be doing any number of things when I'm not working on a play. I like to refer to myself as "Renaissance Man". I am Husband, Father, Son, Friend, Preacher, Writer, Actor, Director, Playwright, Author, Rocket Scientist, and the list goes on. Oh! The Rocket Scientist thing. No, I'm really a Rocket Scientist. My product currently sits on Navy Ships. I no longer work as Rocket Scientist, but it was my first professional job out of college. I love spending time with my family as well as writing new stories for film or other mediums.

Why do you do theater (as opposed to film, or TV, or something not in the entertainment field)?
Well...I actually do film, TV, etc., but the one thing about theater is that you usually only get "one shot". It needs to be right the first time. I also like the fact that it lives and breathes. Every moment is different. You can create a whole world - a whole experience - with a little of nothing; one person, no props...maybe no room.

Do you think the audience will talk about your show for 5 minutes, an hour, or way into the wee hours of the night?
If these audiences are anything like our previous audiences, I expect people to talk til the wee hours of night. We're offering some perpectives that are seldom heard. "Men" talking about "Love"? And this is not just the "lovey-dovey" type of love. This show explores loves in ways that many don't really explore. It's love from a black male's perspective. And I'd be remiss not to mention that the audience will have a chance to dialogue with the characters NOT the actors at the end of the show. This allows for an entirely new experience. I can't wait!

Which “S” word best describes your show: SMOOTH, SEXY, SMART, SURPRISING?
"SURPRISING"! Many can't prepare for the some of these perspectives. I've had people leave the show because they couldn't take the material. I have had some try to fight the characters. I've had some hit on the characters. Every show is different; particularly with the Q&A at the end. People always try to talk to actors, like "So, what made you want to do this piece?" They may get laughed at, cussed out, you just never know. The characters are not aware that they're acting. Their sharing their experiences. Sometimes patrons forget. They'll have a good time if they can take the heat and hang around.

Can theater bring about societal change? Why or why not?
Certainly! This is the impetus for most, if not all, of my works. I believe that the "stage" should mimic the world we live in. It is my hope to create space for dialogue on any number of issues. There is always at least two sides to every story. Let's hear as many sides as possible; as many perspectives as possible. And then we can come together to collectively develop solutions to our issues. It starts with COMMUNICATION. I may not agree with your perspective. I may not like your perspective, but I should have the decency to respect you as a person to at least hear your perspective. I would expect the same in return.