This is a series of posts featuring our artists who are making things happen in and around our great borough of Queens. Please check back weekly for new posts.
Where were you born?
At my parents’ house in Youngstown, OH.
Which Queens neighborhood do you live in and for how long?
I’ve lived at the border between Woodside and Sunnyside for two and a half years. I also lived in Astoria by the river in a tiny place near the Socrates Sculpture Park for a hot minute when I just needed to escape from Jersey City in a hurry.
How did you get involved in theater?
Theatre is a part of my family’s heritage. It saved my grandpa from a life of juvenile delinquency in the 1930s and I grew up going to the local community theatre and being in shows there with my dad. I can hold entire conversations with the men in my Dad’s family composed of lines from Guys and Dolls, The Fantasticks, and The Producers. Though I have a mixed relationship to musical theatre today, something about those lyrics feel like home.
Tell us about the play you’re working on in the Propulsion Lab?
Right now it’s called LIFE PLAY and it explores what happens when a woman’s private sexual fantasies begin to intersect with the identity she’s created in her current relationships. Not only do these desires seem to contradict her beliefs as a feminist, but her background in activism fighting sexual oppression and poverty. After her boyfriend confronts her with kinky material in her internet search history, they embark on a journey that pushes them to push many limits and face uncomfortable truths.
What do you love most about Queens?
When I was trying to get out of Jersey quick, I was at first overwhelmed with the sheer number of options for housing in New York. But then I thought, you know what? I don’t know any jerks who live in Astoria. While I knew jerks in pretty much every neighborhood in the city, everyone I knew in Astoria was a wonderful person. And I’ve found that to be true in Woodside/Sunnyside as well. Maybe it’s being from the Midwest–but I like being able to smile at strangers on the street and not have people look at me like a weirdo.
I also love the food–not just globe-spanning selection of restaurants, but also grocery stores that cater to every culinary persuasion without making you fork over your entire . I kind of feel bad for Manhattanites for not having a lot of good grocery stores.
Your top Queens picks (food, entertainment, sights, etc)?
Working on getting a full reading of “Life Play” up sometime in the next two or three months. In the meantime ,you can purchase my plays “Under the Rainbow,” “High and Uptight” and Egyptology on the Monologues Database http://www.notmyshoes.net/monologues/. I’m also halfway through teaching a playwriting workshop with the kids at in the Theatre Program at the Middlesex County Vocational and Technical Schools in East Brunswick, NJ.