Published September 16, 2017
The theatre is my passion and has been since I first discovered it at the impressionable age of 16. As a student, I was cast in my first theatrical production at Archbishop Carroll High School, a Roman Catholic school in Washington, DC. Erected in 1951 by Cardinal Patrick O’ Boyle with the motto "Pro Deo et Patria", a Latin phrase meaning “For God and Country”, Carroll was established as a standard bearer of racial integration, having opened with a diverse student body four years prior to the Supreme Court declaring segregation unconstitutional. The school’s well served mission, to serve as a beacon for the nation of the right conception of the nature, value and dignity of the human person, has defined my pursuit of the American Theatre.
My career has spanned nearly three decades as an actor, director, stage manager, fight choreographer, producer and, most importantly, playwright. I have always been fascinated by plays that explore the human condition, mostly because I've experienced it first hand. Having been reared by an abusive patriarch, I was forced as a young child to fend for myself and rely on my own instincts to obtain any semblance of normality in life. This taught me to adapt, to grow, to learn from others as I learn about myself. Mistakes were most certainly made, but the resulting life lessons have inspired the plays I write.
My work celebrates the messy and the flawed, for we are the people that make our mark on this world. My plays explore globally important themes such as race, class, feminism, religion, violence, etc, but in a localized setting. The Nation’s Capital, my hometown, a city that yields global power, is a character in nearly all of my work. There are DC colloquialisms scattered throughout my plays and my city is given a chance to shed its inaccurate and unfortunate “inside the beltway” reputation. While I don’t have a lot of “rules” for my plays, there are two guidelines I tend to follow: Never forget where you came from. Always cherish the people in your community and what they’ve built around you.
Playwriting is often a solitary or even a cloistered art form. However, I’m not someone that does seclusion well. My approach is much more neighborly … the interpersonal dynamic very much fuels my art and, without it, I frankly wouldn’t be worth my salt as a writer. In times like this, when nationalistic movements are too often dominating global discourse and adversely affecting human relations, it is absolutely imperative that I craft my plays with as much authenticity as possible.