Artistic Statement

Artistic Statement

The message came to me from a Buddhist nun: “At some point, your life will fall apart.” Mine had already fallen apart, a few times. I know falling apart - and I know finding my way after falling apart. Both have been at the center of my work as a playwright for some time.

The stories I tell, the plays I write, are about healing, and are populated with characters whose lives are falling apart: a terminally-ill, sixteen-year-old boy spiritually communing with a dying whale; strangers who come together on a snowy Christmas morning for a group suicide; a reclusive man who hasn’t left his apartment in almost ten years; an army vet and amputee who jumps in his pickup truck and drives from Washington, DC to Wichita to murder an abortionist; an end-of-days prepper finding he's underprepared; a small town fighting to save its only hospital.

I build plays, but I don’t, I can’t build them alone, so I seek collaboration with like-minded theatre artists who value themselves, their communities, and our shared and often contentious histories, and who are willing to say what needs to be said to the world, even when an idea, an image, or a sound is unpopular or dangerous. I build - with brave artists - theatre that asks important questions about us and the ways we help and hurt each other.

I strive to discover magic in story, often in something as simple as a word, a touch, a kiss, or in something more complex, requiring adventurous and risky collaboration with artists from dissimilar backgrounds.

I write or think about writing every day. I am most often considering or researching a project while writing or editing another. I enjoy being in the company of writers and discussions of craft and process. I need audiences to feel something when they see one of my plays - otherwise, I have failed.

The theatre, I believe, is one of the last places where we tell the truth, where we must tell the truth, especially in times like these. The audiences I seek demand it; the collaborators I work with crave it. And the characters I write are often unprepared for it, but I force them to speak and behave in spite of it.