nytheatre.com q&a preview by James Fluhr
July 16, 2012
What is your job on this show?
Playwright and Actor.
Are there boundaries as to what kind of theatre you will take part in?
I chose theatre because of the lack of boundaries. As long as what I am doing is helping to tell the story, I don't think anything is off limits. Sometimes new directors and actors want to push the boundaries of what the audience finds comfortable, but that's not an honest experience. It shuts everyone off. I enjoy working on OUR LADY so much because I am able to welcome the audience in. They get a chance to trust me and share the darkest and lightest parts of the story with me.
Why did you want to be part of FringeNYC?
The show is the beginning of a social and artistic war against the monster of hate. FringeNYC is allowing me to reach as many people as possible and build an army around a majestic drag queen savior. I knew it was going to be a challenge, but that was part of my interest in FringeNYC. It may sound cliché but I am a small-town, southern guy who has dreamed of doing a show in New York since middle school. Now, I'm following my dreams and trying to change as many lives as I can with OUR LADY.
Do you think the audience will talk about your show for 5 minutes, an hour, or way into the wee hours of the night?
People that have witnessed the show in past workshops told me they found themselves haunted by the story. They couldn't stop thinking about it. The topics the show deals with are not light: witnessing a mother defend her gay child; feeling a monster force thoughts of suicide into his victims; attending the intimate burial of a boy’s only love. These moments come from a very real place. This show is what the audience makes it. I try to give the audience as much fun and humor as I can in the moments when it’s appropriate so I hope they laugh a little.
Which “S” word best describes your show: SMOOTH, SEXY, SMART, SURPRISING?
None of those "s" words best describe OUR LADY. I would go with seductive, sparkling and stark. I needed three. There was no way around it.
Can theatre bring about societal change? Why or why not?
Yes. I think the key is to focus in on the story. If you walk in thinking about your political statement, then you've ruined your chance. But if you think about the story you are working on and how specific it can be, the audience will discover the political purpose. Audiences want to have their own ideas, just give them an experience where that can happen.