Artistic Statement

Artistic Statement

“'Tis ever common that men are merriest when they are from home.”
William Shakespeare, Henry V, Act 1 scene II

Growing up in the backwaters of a questionable and muddy bayou south of Houston, Texas, I whole-heartedly believed Mr. Shakespeare knew what he was talking about. Maybe because, for me, home was the house on the corner of Chaos and Collapse, presided over haphazardly by a ridiculously intelligent, aridly funny, and mentally ill mother. It was the perfect petri dish to cultivate imagination and shame, creativity and loss. While independence, humor, and resilience took root, it seemed that stability and safety struggled miserably for traction before simply giving up. Therefore, as was with King Henry’s men, I was merriest when I was from home: as far from home as possible. At least until theatre became my home and then the script flipped.

In the theatre, I stepped out of the dark house into the lights and magic of the stage. Laughter, delight, fun, acceptance: a blessed, magical escape. Even now – especially now – I can still escape to process a world set repeatedly on its ear, to find that magical laughter and delight in the most challenging moments. In 2014, my first full-length play, “Potato Gumbo” sprang from my stepmother’s poignant and sometimes zany journey into Alzheimer’s and the challenges that come with parenting a parent.

Laughter and comedy, these are the antivenom for our snake-bit reality. Whether it’s the title character of my full-length play, “The Bold and Bob,” navigating the death of his mother; the negotiations for the soul of a fallen corporate climber in the 10-minute “8 Floors and Counting;” or the domestic violence inflicted by the house cat in the 1-minute “Paybacks,” humor keeps us sane in a crazy world.

I admire the playwrights who utilize their art to loudly and boldly demand and achieve the change that needs to happen, who put the spotlight on injustices. I am a gentler voice. I strive to create change with relatable reflections of ourselves that can be shown grace and laughed at just a little. When my audience is away from home, I hope, they are merriest.