This Is Why I Whisper
nytheatre.com q&a preview by Sibyl Renaye
June 9, 2013
What is your job on this show?
Playwright and Producer.
What is your show about?
THIS IS WHY I WHISPER, is the loosely autobiographical story about a family that must make a critical decision on what to do with a violent schizophrenic member, after the death of the matriarch.
When did you know you wanted to work in the theater, and why?
I started out writing novels and found that I was really great with imparting dialogue into the scenes. As theater is naturally filled with dialogue, it was any easy transition from novels to plays.
Why do you do theater (as opposed to film, or TV, or something not in the entertainment field)?
There is something especially compelling when the acting is live as opposed to films. My experience has been that the audience is so engaged in the live action, that they "feel" the characters in a way that can't be duplicated on film or tv. I've witnessed, on many occassions, audience members become so enthralled by the conflict and situation that is playing out on stage, that they resort to "shouting out" their feelings. The audience is right there, caught up in the moment.
Do you think the audience will talk about your show for 5 minutes, an hour, or way into the wee hours of the night?
To quote a previous audience member, "Drama, comedy, tragedy, all rolled into a moving evening that lingers with you long after exiting." So, I guess the best answer would be, way into the wee hours of the night.
Which famous person would you most like to get a fan letter from: Denzel Washington, Maggie Smith, Ang Lee, Jennifer Lawrence?
Denzel Washington. In fact, I already have a part lined up for him in my next play. What a dream come true that would be!
Can theater bring about societal change? Why or why not?
In my writing, I fully embrace that theater is suppose to hold a mirror to society. All of my writing is reflective of that concept. In writing my truths, I write without fear...without constraints. I write about those that are on the outside of mainstream society. I am hopeful that by sharing these types of stories, that we begin to see that we are more alike than we are different.