In my experience, I haven’t found adhering to strict dogmas or solely focusing on one style of theatre to be useful. To me, theatre is a great medium for sharing stories and new ideas. Whether a production is a children’s show performed in a cafeteria, or a high budget drama exploring the mysteries of existence, I believe that both pieces of theatre are equally important for different reasons. In my writing and directing, I am eager to explore all genres and styles without restriction. Though I may engage with different shows in a variety of ways, I will always approach them with excitement and an open mind.
Writing for Children
When approaching a children’s show, I find it helpful to consider a story from two perspectives. First, I consider my concept as an adult by working with plot structure and thematic elements, as well as utilizing techniques such as repetition, which has proven to be highly effective for young audiences. Second, I attempt to look at the story from the perspective of a child. As far as I’m concerned, the second voice should always overrule the first. If a young audience member is not having fun or is not engaged in the show, then all the structures and techniques are useless. A children’s show can contain as many morals and educational themes as the playwright wants, but if the story is not interesting to kids then the production is not a beneficial experience for either the intended audience or the playwright. In my recent show W[u/o]nderland, audience participation is essential for engaging a bilingual audience. This intersection of engagement and entertainment was my primary focus, and will allow for an exciting yet comfortable learning environment.
Writing for Adults
Though my plays often explore a variety of topics, my chief interest is in exploring boundaries both theatrically and thematically. Since I first began working in theatre I’ve been fascinated by concrete and perceived limitations of performance on stage. In pursuing this interest, I’ve explored many viewpoints by studying the work of artists such as Sarah Kane, Antonin Artaud, and Bertolt Brecht. Though many of these practitioners have drastically different views on theatre and its primary purpose, they have greatly influenced my view of playwriting. In a recent script, Wald, my focus was to immerse an audience within an ancient Roman warzone. Proximity to the violence and fear creates high personal stakes for the audience. As they find themselves engulfed by a dark and inescapable German forest, the audience will be challenged to examine their personal stances on warfare and imperialism. Encouraging audiences to engage with boundaries in an emotional and physical manner is both challenging and an inspiration for my work.