Artistic Statement

Artistic Statement

I spent most of my childhood fully expecting to become a Disney animator. It all changed when I visited CalArts as a junior in high school and was enamored with the black box theatre. After that, I decided to study theatre.

When I think about what it was about that theatre space that changed my mind, I can only say it was about a visceral feeling of possibility. To this day, if I sit in an empty space, ideas immediately crackle for me. As I write my plays, I still imagine a stage not unlike that black box theatre at CalArts.

However, I never forgot my first love of animation. Animation still fundamentally influences my theatre work. Animation and theatre both allow for poetic stylization, and they both have the ability to bring to life a character’s internal thoughts and emotions in physical and evocative ways. I create authentic, real characters who live in rich, theatrical worlds of possibility.

All of my plays, including the plays I write for young audiences, are fueled by curiosity and are exercises in self-discovery and exploration. I usually can’t start writing a play until I know the questions it will be asking. I believe a play begins when a question is asked and ends when the question is transformed, deepens, or is answered by a character’s actions.

Sherry Kramer taught me that a play doesn’t take place on the stage. It takes place in the imagination of the audience. To that end, I see crafting a play as giving your best friend a tour of your hometown. You drive your friend to very specific places, show them what’s important to you, point out exactly what they should notice, and make sure they have a meaningful and entertaining time.

I want audiences to enjoy the experience of engaging with my plays, no matter what emotions they feel. I want to stir a response. I want them to be engaged, surprised, delighted, shocked, active, moved. I want them to have conversations about the play a week after seeing it. I want my plays to linger.