nytheatre.com q&a preview by Sean Pomposello
August 14, 2012
What is your job on this show?
Where were you born? Where were you raised? Where did you go to school?
I was born on Castle Hill Avenue, in the Bronx. The experience pretty much informs everything I write. My folks divorced when I was a kid and I divided my time between midtown East and upper Westchester where my mom moved. I spent high school in Westchester and studied English at an upstate New York state university college (that will remain nameless).
Why do you do theater (as opposed to film, or TV, or something not in the entertainment field)?
Frankly, I think I'm involved in theatre because I find so little of it interesting. I pretty much write what I'd like to see. "Barbicide" might be the exception, but before I write anything I ask myself what don't we have enough of on the stage and then begin writing what seems under represented. "Bitch," my dogfighting play, is a pretty good example of this kind of thinking.
How did you meet your fellow artists/collaborators on this show?
I've known Arthur for some years now. In fact, he performed in an early version of my play "Bitch" and then reprised his role for the Players Theatre production. In fact, we've worked together so often that I tend to write in his voice. I'm working on new play that deals with homeless chess hustlers and one character was conceived with Arthur in mind right from the start. Regarding Christian, he directed my last play and curated a reading series of my shorter works. His first glimpse into my writing was "Bitch," which he responded to because it was set in the neighborhood where he grew up in the Bronx. So, he and I have that Bronx brotherhood thing going for us.
Which famous New Jerseyite would like your show the best: Snooki, Bruce Springsteen, Thomas Edison?
I think Bruce (who I really have no affection for, incidentally) would dig Barbicide. Not new fatter, older, less buff Bruce who tries too hard to be at one with the common man--I'm thinking old Bruce, who fancied himself a singer/songwriter...that Bruce would find this show appealing. I think Snooki could possibly be his date, but Bruce would annoy all those around him in the theatre trying to explain stuff to Snooki.
Can theater bring about societal change? Why or why not?
Not to sound like some theatre d-bag, but I firmly believe in the power of storytelling to divide and unite us. I think plays can move people, not merely down the path of diversion, but to the heights of enlightenment, exposure, growth, healing, understanding, inquiry, introspection and then ultimately action. Only, they so rarely do. Barbicide doesn't attempt to get at any of that, but I think theatergoers will find that there is more than meets the eye with this little play.