Your new play is titled “Theodore’s Love.” What layers of meaning brought you to that title and have any new layers of meaning been unearthed in the process of bringing this play to life?
The name Theodore is Greek. Its derived from Theódoros which means “God-given” (theós) “God” and (dōron) “gift”. So, the title of the play can also function as, “God’s Gift Love”. This is deliberate on my part and helps facilitate another avenue of interpretation.
What is the balance between challenging the audience and caring for the audience?
Give enough to get their attention, but not so much that they become distracted. Underwhelming the audience is as detrimental as overwhelming them. To be clear, I believe in a more postmodernist approach. I want to allow the audience to draw their own individual conclusions. I don’t believe in a grand truth. I want to produce work that deliberately involves the audience’s own interpretation. I believe this enriches the work and allows for greater acceptance. Its Roland Barthes, but the death of a playwright instead.
Have you observed any synchronicity or parallel in writing poetry and plays?
Besides the power of archetypes, no. I don’t give it much thought. I treat each as a completely different discipline. I will say, poetic language and imagery can elevate both disciplines.
How do you keep your butt in the chair writing? Incentives, penances, etc?
My penance is a day job that is not writing. That keeps me in the chair writing. My incentive is no longer having to pay penance for doing what I love and what I am good at.
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Criticism is part of the process. If you don’t want to be criticized by someone else, then go write for yourself; be a diarist. You’ll still be criticized but it will be you and it won’t matter as much.
[read more in the Fall/Winter issue of seveneightfive, in businesses OCT 11]