Artistic Statement

Artistic Statement

As a playwright, writer and theater maker, I love the space between words. I bridge gaps dividing genres, humans and my own disjointed fragments. Studying the distance between us, I seek true connection.

I write to root into earth and to find present weight in each moment. Aiming to the global impossible through the immediate, tangible here/now, my plays examine how we meet our nature in time and space. Using diverse media to develop dramatic blueprints, I play with text, image, video, music, lighting, movement and puppets. As several aesthetic languages inform my work, so do the brain, the body, relationships, landscapes and intricate complexities of human behavior.

Since adolescence, mental breakdowns held me back. Inside a decade of drowning, I turned to theater and writing. Arts practice helped me find air. Out of gratitude, I devoted my life to it. Focusing on memories I can't believe happened, I amplify them to mythic, Ancient Greek-sized metaphor in locations loaded with personal history. I speak to those who feel silenced (by their noisy brains, loved ones or strangers). By revealing my most vulnerable secrets, I hope we can see each other clearly.

I physicalize my hardest moments and then pour in stories collected through devised collaborations, interviews and observations, submerging our rawest parts together. Cathartic release brings breath. My play New Eden looks for humanity in the sociopath who took me to live homeless with him in wreckage, while envisioning a destined Montana paradise. Embodied as a character at the end of his rope, he tries one good thing before death—despite the damage misguided intentions bring. Mixing disparate memories, fiction, poetry, sensory detail and unexpected comedy into this character study, colliding stories push through intense crisis to find stillness.

My art looks at the worst of us to locate the best in us. I rip into past with controlled passion, for future’s sake, so I can hold out a hand and sit with you through your own struggle. It's hard being human. My plays are quests for empathy. I say goodbye to my monstrous life before, giving it to you so we can make new stories. I write what terrifies me, juxtaposing the tough and the funny, the rough and the sharp, the gorgeous and grotesque to discover truth.

On each page, I long for so much muchness swimming beneath every word like an ocean. I want to feel the volcano underneath while standing grounded on shore. I channel a frenetic, massive mess of energy and let the excess go, stripping to tightly wound dialogue and structure. Every word counts. Orchestral dynamism and rhythm builds to choreographed enormity that accelerates to a stop.

How can we care for ourselves, each other and those who feel far away? Through theater, I want to connect with strangers, loved ones, people I don’t like and people who turn away from me by leaning in with more questions, listening and laughing. How can we live better--with more kindness, compassion, generosity?