I am a writer and a theater artist.
I am also a college professor at Chabot College in the SF Bay Area, where I have been a full time faculty member in Theater Arts for almost 25 years.
Fresh off the press — ARTTALKS — August 2018
I am intensely exploring two questions:
1. How do we talk about art? Especially abstract art?
2. What is going on in that space and time, the live event, of seeing art in a gallery or museum?
This piece, performed at the Gray Loft Gallery,
in collaboration with Jan Watten, gallery curator, explores those questions as I respond to 7 different pieces of work. These responses vary in tone and style, applying poetics, dialogue, and movement in various ways. The piece is framed by a dialogue between a man and a woman, trying to talk about an abstract landscape. I do both characters. It’s a straight-forward, humorous frame around more abstract and poetic responses to the artworks.
A wide range of samples of my recent playwriting:
Description/Synopsis: Macaroons is a short– 10 minutes — chamber piece written for two actors, both in their late 80s. The play explores the painful decision that a wife has to make about leaving her husband of 60 years in a senior residential home.
Description/Synopsis: Raw, fast, complicated. 9 actors, ages 20-30, play 15 roles, as well as a chorus.
Three stories weave together, along with a chorus, exploring questions of personal identity: how do we define ourselves in a world that is driven to label us? How and when are these labels oppressive or liberating? Is it possible to transcend the words, the limitations of language itself in finding our true selves? Nick struggles with his identity as an ex-con, while Marcus is labeled white privilege, and Bobby is struggling to hold onto the last threads of any identity at all. All three of them are caged somehow; we watch them struggle to free themselves. Design notes: — minimal set pieces, moved into place as the scene begins. Image – shattered glass.
The cast is on stage the whole time. They should use chairs for sitting upstage when they’re not in the action, and these same chairs are moved in and out of the scenes, as needed. They wear street clothes.
Description and synopsis
This one is the furthest “outside” of the three so far, and it serves to give you a range of my material. It’s a solo piece that combines poetics with a character narrative. The dramatic question is simple: will she go to work on this Monday morning, or completely change direction in her life? But the piece is fragmented and distorted, with a fair amount of wordplay, an example of a less traditional solo show, and a direction I am exploring.
This show has a successful production history that is outlined in the Introductory pages
Starting in a mid-point, the play explores the roller coaster ride of high stakes of gambling—what starts as “normal” adult entertainment grows into a life-threatening addiction. Fluctuating in time, revealing layers of meaning, the dramatic action is centered on this question: will she find her way out of this increasingly complicated maze? How is it possible to travel from one point to another, transforming her world? Do we really want her to? Does she want to? What’s on the other side? Throughout the play, she explores not only her private demons, but muses on the nature of chance, the existence of god, the possibility of flying, and the possibility of community and love.
This is a parable, a “morality” play from the Medieval era of Theater, when most of the plays of that time were enactments of Scripture, written with the intention of maintaining Christian discipline and devotion. It is the story of “everyman” who must face his death and the hope of immortality in heaven.
While the characters are symbols and ideas, this is a contemporary version of this universal story, explored with dance, music, spoken word, metered verse, rap, hip-hop and dialogue.