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My Statement

The greatest irony of our time might be this: even as technology makes us more connected than ever...

...we are also suffering a crisis of loneliness.

My work uses magical realism and unconventional narrative structures to tell stories about human relationships and how the meaning of concepts such as marriage, friendship, and romance are changing. Almost every single one of my plays explores religion, sexual orientation, and self-expression as an extension of this central focus.

Full Statement:

My career as a theater artist is rooted in the idea of community. In one sense, I see performance itself as a collaborative effort: a dialogue between the audience and the performers, wherein each side gives and receives. I believe in the power of theatre to raise awareness, change minds, and activate self-reflection in both the viewer and the performer. As an actor and an aspiring playwright, I am attracted to the theater in no small part due to the collaborative nature of the work.

As part of my relationship with the audience, I like to challenge audiences to think in new ways. My goal for my work is that it is challenging - visually, conceptually, and in terms of story. I believe that theatrical productions are capable of delivering uniquely transportive and magical experiences. During one of my plays, you might find yourself swung back and forth across the sixty-year timeline of a relationship, or ushered into a representation of a character's headspace, or even invited into a space that is dynamic based on the moods of the characters. Time, spacial design, light, sound and silence are all my tools; however, I use them in service of a traditional story. I am a bit of a nerd (okay, a big nerd) about traditional story structure (like literally, I have a formula I use to plot every single one of my plays, be they two sentences or two hundred minutes long). My goal for my dialogue is that it is as realistic as possible, joyful and warm without being treacly, and generally fun to say.

These methods give me the structure and space to tell compelling stories about the way we relate to one another. With the advent of social media, the way relationships function is changing at a rapid rate, and not necessarily for the better. Despite the increasing connectivity of our world, we find ourselves in what medical researchers have deemed, “an epidemic of loneliness.” Early analyses of recent downward trends in American life expectancy refer to the cause as, “deaths of despair” based in part on weakening social ties. I do not pretend to have an easy solution to these issues. But I believe that theater can inspire people to approach those around them in graceful, empathetic, and truthful ways. 

Some Other Themes/Concepts I'm Into Right Now (in no particular order):

Theater in weird and unexpected spaces; science fiction stories that grapple with humanity and our purpose; representations of creative genius; Christianity; LGBTQ+; platonic love; “coming out” narratives told in surprising ways; family dynamics in non-traditional “families”; true crime and podcasting in general; fatherhood and masculinity; violence and victimhood; the process of creating art.

And classical music. Always classical music.
 

Scene from “Boards and Glue and…” (Performed at Sundog Theatre, Inc. in February-March of 2019) Photo by Karen O'Donnell

Scene from “Boards and Glue and…” (Performed at Sundog Theatre, Inc. in February-March of 2019) Photo by Karen O'Donnell