As a theatre artist, I am moved to illuminate the darkest corners of human relationships and behavior. Often, this manifests itself in the form of familial relationships. I am fascinated by the coexistence of love and hate in these associations. If a child despises their parent so balefully, what happens when that parent’s life is ended? This occurs in my play, Metropolis Has No Superman. Chance has not returned to his hometown of Metropolis, Illinois in six years because of his father’s betrayal. When his father passes away, how can Chance achieve the only thing he ever wanted from him: to hear the words I’m sorry? Through wearing his father’s suit and speaking his father’s words, Chance effectively becomes his father and thus can forgive himself.
Another common element in my writing is the use of music. Often, I will score a play before I ever begin writing. Characters have themes and character pairings have repeated motifs. Once scored, I use this music in the writing of the play and, often, this music finds its way into the production of the finished script. In my play, Circuit, a modern-day homage to Arthur Schnitzler’s La Ronde, the music I used as inspiration to write the play was also used to connect the individual dual-character scenes. This provided additional unities of time, place and character creating a narrower lens through which to view the play. The music is sometimes harmonious, occasionally dissonant, exhibiting solos and duets, fugues and counterpoint - much like real life.
One additional facet common to my writing is the use of paranormal aspects, such as ghosts, prophetic dreams and memories. What fascinates me about these elements is their use by characters within my plays. In a retelling of the Oedipus myth, a young man, Sean Avery, begins a relationship with an older man who turns out to be his biological father. This story exists in my play, Trinity. Its title comes from the idea that the story is of a father, a son and a ghost – more precisely, the ghost of Sean’s mother, Dorothy. Also throughout the play, memories are recalled and rewritten as needed. Resembling the coping mechanisms we all utilize in our everyday lives, the shared memories of Sean and Dorothy are recalled differently, evolving into stories they need at this point in their existences. In my experience, memories evolve over time. They are adapted and changed as we need them. They can become a comfort, evidence, nostalgia or a wake-up call. Sean utilizes these revisions to come to terms with the secrets that ultimately became his undoing.
My style may be best described as humor mixed with pathos and punctuated with witty, incisive dialogue; a style that is character-driven and relies on language and negotiation. My characters are minutely and accurately drawn and the story lines are at once familiar yet unpredictable. With each new work I find it easier to fashion my stories with a finer point and a clearer journey as I continue to explore the above themes and motivations.