Artistic Statement

Artistic Statement

I fell in love with theater in 10th Grade doing a school play. I wasn’t very good but I loved it and knew in that 1st rehearsal I was home and would never leave. Then I saw my 1st professional production of A MEMBER OF THE WEDDING at the Alliance Theater in Atlanta. I was amazed at the characters in the play. I was from the South and knew everyone of those characters. I marveled how the set designer made Berenice’s stove look so lived in, old and greasy. I remember I thought I could smell the oncoming rain when Frankie walked outside to take a quiet moment in her back yard as the skies darken. The next week I saw Jean-Claude van Itallie’s AMERICA HURRAH. Each act had amazing stylization, which startled me, upset me, and made me think “in theater you could talk about anything- just entertain the audience.” That opened my eyes to pure theatricality as a story telling device.

I am a proud part of the LGBTQI community. I have put some LGBTQI characters into my plays but they are never ashamed of themselves. They are flawed but their queerness is never their problem. Their personal traits and choices are their problem, not their sexuality orientation. I have moved beyond being shamed and into a place of Pride, long ago.

I have survived many horrible things in my life and I love writing about them. Though I try and write about them in a way that would be entertaining, engaging, cathartic, relatable and always comical. (Ex: cancer, the approach of death, soul-sucking negative people, child abuse, parental lies, messiah complexes by actual messiahs, unchecked male entitlement, how to survive an epidemic and then thrive.)

I am a child of trauma and violence but also empathy and forgiveness. I try to put that into all my plays. Even my one, modern tragedy, (AMERICAN INHERITANCE) has empathy for all the humans who failed so poorly. I entertain monsters and ask the audience to understand them and sometimes cry for their fallibility and misguided motivations. I want my audience to be moved when they watch one of my protagonist try and change something as simple as an “embedded, limiting, thought-pattern that has trapped them.” That small attempt is the entire world in a microcosm about how much bravery and strength that takes.

My work strives for universalism. I try to write plays that would last generations, not quick, “topic plays” that could easily be seen on TV. Theater is mirror that usually is the 1st at ringing society’s alarm bell. TV and Film usually follow after they see it can be done. I prefer to report from the Front Lines and not wait until the air is clear. My theater is one of imagination, transformation and grace, and should make my audience walk out changed, moved, and always grateful.