Artistic Statement

Artistic Statement

ME
Oh my goodness. What do I say? I'd like to think my plays are well-crafted where the humor emanates from the dramatic action, maybe a little quirky, where the characters come across as honest, accurate and charmed. Does that do anything for you?

YOU
So what have you written?

ME
Dozens of short plays that have been produced throughout the United States and performed on stage, and plenty of nontraditional venues -- such as speed dating events, synagogues, churches, nursing homes, high schools, bar association events, even my neighbors garage (two car!). A compendium of my short plays have recieved productions in their own right in Atlanta and New York. I have also been developing an inventory of full length plays that primarily deal with people's obsession status and money including my own. These include Divided Among Themselves (think Ayn Rand meets Christopher Hitchens meets C.S. Lewis) where four sisters grapple over the legacy of their father (hard-driving and drinking union activist); Unbillable Hours (about selling out in a city where a new stadium is displacing many of its poorer residents); The Chosen People (a Jewish couple goes to the most exclusive country club in the United States and ends up questioning themselves in a play about infertility and resurrection). And a whole lot more. Not to overwhelm you. You get the sense.

YOU
Any awards? Major productions?

ME
Yeah, I've won some things and made a few bucks doing this, but as I get older, I keep myself focused on process. Yeah, I like validation, but I am more concerned with having an impact on the audience. I am really proud to serve as the board presidents of the Association of Jewish Theatre and the Board President of Working Title Playwrights because this allows me a greater opportunity to serve our profession, other writers and our communities.

YOU
What are your strengths as a writer?

ME
I'm real good about writing internal monologues, where characters have to grapple with a conflict within -- sometimes about something as simple as taking the last seat on the train or about speaking as a lunch-time panelist. Also, I will re-write and re-vision feverishly. I will not let go until it's time to let go. I find inspiration from those willing to offer it -- Erik Ehn, Lauren Gunderson, Pamela Turner, Gary Garrison -- they all speak to my conscious and subconscious. Is that too much?

YOU
Anything else about you personally?

ME
I am a damned good tennis coach and player. I absolutely love my wife and three children (all of whom are much taller than me physically and ethically). My best companion in the world is Panda, my perpetually, tennis-ball chasing Golden Retriever. I also work as a mediator, resolving mostly divorce and landlord-tenant disputes. I have degrees from Brown University, the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and the Emory University School of Law, but I am as proud as having received the highest rating as a tennis professional from the United States Professional Tennis Association. Seeing Spalding Gray as the narrator in Our Town was a transformative life event for me and my wife, and if we ever grabbed a cup of tea (decaffeinted, either Calm or Passion), I would be glad to tell you about it, as long as you also tell me about you.

YOU
Okay. That is more than enough.

ME
Peace.