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"The Truing" written by Joe Norton. Interview by Maya Contreras.

The New York International Fringe Festival (FringeNYC) is the largest multi-arts festival in North America. It takes place annually in August over the course of two weeks on 20 stages spread across several Manhattan neighborhoods. FringeNYC (unlike other Fringe Festivals) uses a jury-based selection process to pick it’s 200 shows. One of those shows is “The Truing” written by playwright Joe Norton.

Maya Contreras: What is the name of your show?
Joe Norton: The Truing.

MC: What is it about?
JN: Six AIDS Ride cyclists and crew members encounter obstacles on their second day, causing them to realize that they must work together to get back on the route and finish the ride.

MC: What made you want to write about this particular subject?
JN: I am positive 22 years. One of the first things I did after my diagnosis was go to work for the Rides. That experience and those people changed my life forever.

MC: What was the biggest hurdle for you writing this piece?
JN: Trying to keep it about the characters, and not about the logistics of the ride; also, making it current, so that it relates to the issues positive people and their supporters face today. Living with HIV/AIDS is very different today from when I was first diagnosed (in 1992) and worked on the Rides.

MC: What did you enjoy most about the process of writing it?
JN: Getting to know my characters. They surprised me.

MC: What does it mean to you to be a part of the New York Fringe Festival?
JN: I’m honored. I love NYC downtown theatre, even though I work on B’way (in another capacity). Everyone I’ve already met whose involved in the Fringe this year is so excited. I love that.

MC: Where can we learn more about you and your show (e.g. website, twitter)?
JN: thetruingplay.com, @thetruingplay

PROUST QUESTIONNAIRE:

What is your idea of perfect happiness? Peaceful nights with my husband and dog, or sitting around a dinner table with friends and family.

What is your greatest fear? That time is moving too fast. I worry about that.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? I doubt myself as an artist, so I procrastinate.

What is the trait you most deplore in others? Bigotry and intolerance.

Which living person do you most admire? There are many more than one. Really, I admire a lot of other people. My friends and family, especially.

What is your greatest extravagance? Taking cabs around the city.

What is your current state of mind? Crazy.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue? Good looks.

On what occasion do you lie? To save someone else from embarrassment.

What do you most dislike about your appearance? My flat butt.

Which living person do you most despise? Hard one. It takes a lot…


What is the quality you most like in a man? A gentle pace.

What is the quality you most like in a woman? Confidence.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse? “Shit.”

What or who is the greatest love of your life? My husband, Jason.

When and where were you happiest? Hard to say, but now’s pretty good.

Which talent would you most like to have? Playing piano.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? I wouldn’t procrastinate so much.

What do you consider your greatest achievement? Sobriety.

If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be? A theater or a bird.

Where would you most like to live? Besides NYC? Maybe San Francisco? Or Tuscany? There are many places I’ve yet to go.

What is your most treasured possession? Probably my iPod.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? The day before I got sober.

What is your favorite occupation? Teaching.

What is your most marked characteristic? I guess my smile. I smile a lot.

What do you most value in your friends? Loyalty and laughter.

Who are your favorite writers? It’s a very long list. Martin McDonaugh, Sam Shepard, Raymond Carver, and my friends: playwrights, poets, novelists. They inspire me the most.

Who is your hero of fiction? Hmmm. Is John Snow too recent?

Which historical figure do you most identify with? That’s a hard one. I’m a pretty regular guy.

Who are your heroes in real life? Teachers, people living with diseases, nurses, parents, children.

What are your favorite names? I like all names. Names are cool.

What is it that you most dislike? Intolerance fueled by ignorance.

What is your greatest regret? Not sticking with the piano lessons.

How would you like to die? In my sleep, I guess.

What is your motto? Hang in there.”

Read more interviews by Maya Contreras at thebloodlineofshadrickgrace.com & dirtydurty.com.

IndieGogo Campaign ends in 3 Days! Can you spread the word?

"Ryan Is Lost" written by Nathan Wellman. Interview by Maya Contreras.

The New York International Fringe Festival (FringeNYC) is the largest multi-arts festival in North America. It takes place annually in August over the course of two weeks on 20 stages spread across several Manhattan neighborhoods. FringeNYC (unlike other Fringe Festivals) uses a jury-based selection process to pick it’s 200 shows. One of those shows is “Ryan Is Lost” written by playwright Nathan Wellman.

Maya Contreras: What is the name of your show?
Nathan Wellman: Ryan Is Lost.

MC: What is it about?
NW: Ryan is Lost is a two person play about brother and sister Frank and Avis, who have lost their nephew in the middle of a busy mall. The whole play takes place around the bench where they said they would meet if they got separated, in which they quickly become embroiled in their own selfish fears and disappointments, lashing out because it’s the only way they know how to connect with each other. By the end of the play they’ve practically forgotten all about Ryan, the only truly pure part of their lives, and we see that they are just as lost as he is.

MC: What made you want to write about this particular subject?
NW: Probably the initial impetus stemmed from the desire to write about siblings. You don’t have to try to be a better version of yourself in front of your brother or sister. You can scream at them and even hit them and that bond never goes away. In some ways, they see the ugly parts of you that nobody else gets to see. So dramatically, exploring a relationship like that is ripe with exciting opportunities to make some pretty wild statements about human selfishness.

MC: What was the biggest hurdle for you writing this piece?
NW: The whole 70 minute piece is one scene, and features two actors who never leave the stage. It was certainly an obstacle to keep that compelling for an audience, finding consistent conflict and new actions without it collapsing into just two people talking or observing for an hour. But through that difficulty I was delighted to find new paths for storytelling that I’d never considered pursuing before. The play became an insane juggling act, in which I’d throw up a new theme or idea on page 24 and just move onto something else until p.58 when you finally get the payoff. It’s almost a bit of a puzzle in that regard. You never know what offhand remark is going to come back and have a heavier significance later.

MC: What did you enjoy most about the process of writing it?
NW: The language. Ah, the beautiful profanity of Frank and Avis. A large majority of the play are quick one line jabs going back and forth, and it was a joy to cruise through a page so quickly. They’re fairly hilarious characters, in a sad way, in that they never seem to know what is going on or what the other one is talking about, because they never really listen to each other. So you get a lot of confusion and repetition permeating the script with plenty of exchanges like “What are we talking about?” “What did you say?” “Why are we stay here still?” “I don’t know!” “You never know anything!” “I know enough.” “About what?” “What are we talking about?!”.

MC: What does it mean to you to be a part of the New York Fringe Festival?
NW: We got our start at the Hollywood Fringe, which was a blast. Now it kind of feels like we’re entering into the big leagues, considering that FringeNYC has a longer history than the still-young one in LA. It was a joy to be accepted and also of course equally terrifying because we want to be on top of our game among so many other incredible artists.

MC: Where can we learn more about you and your show (e.g. website, twitter)?
NW: We just launched a twitter account that I encourage everyone to follow for info, discounts, and the occasional mindblowing cat video.
https://twitter.com/RyanisLostNYC
And of course our Facebook page:
http://www.facebook.com/RyanIsLostPlay

Read more interviews by Maya Contreras on DirtyDurty.com or “Maya’s Blog”
on TheBloodlineofShadrickGrace.com

Ian Curtis’ handwritten lyrics for Joy Division’s single most iconic song, “Love Will Tear Us Apart.” xo Maya

Ian Curtis’ handwritten lyrics for Joy Division’s single most iconic song, “Love Will Tear Us Apart.” xo Maya

"No Visible Scars" written by Deon Denton. Interview by Maya Contreras.

The New York International Fringe Festival (FringeNYC) is the largest multi-arts festival in North America.  It takes place annually in August over the course of two weeks on 20 stages spread across several Manhattan neighborhoods. FringeNYC (unlike other Fringe Festivals) uses a jury-based selection process to pick it’s 200 shows. One of those shows is “No Visible Scars” written by playwright Deon Denton.  

Maya Contreras: What is the name of your show? Deon Denton: No Visible Scars.

MC: What is it about? DD: The show is about a troubled young woman (Myranda) battling demons from her past. She struggles with “daddy issues”, carries a large black box, measures her life by dying things and has already set the date for her next suicide attempt.

MC: What made you want to write about this particular subject?DD: I went through a period of tremendous loss and struggled with depression for a period, as a way of therapy I decided to script some of the emotional elements of my experience. It was a very cathartic experience that resulted in some sense of freedom and liberation as I gave myself hope once I saw my experience on paper.

MC: What was the biggest hurdle for you writing this piece?DD: Suicide and depression is not a popular topic in the black community and especially in the Church. I was hesitant to identify with the character at first because of the taboo placed on mental illness in our society.

MC: What did you enjoy most about the process of writing it?DD: The creative process of starting out a story with a problem and at the end not having the problem completely resolved but having hope that new strengths was gained to go a little further. 

MC: What does it mean to you to be a part of the New York Fringe Festival?DD: To have my work read and accepted in the New York Fringe is a major milestone for me. I’ve entered the Toronto Fringe a few times before but this is different. The jury based selection process lends a lot of credibility to your work.

MC: Where can we learn more about you and your show (e.g. website, twitter)?DD: www.promsieproductions.ca, https://www.facebook.com/NoVisibleScarsFringeNYCwww.promsieproductions.ca, https://www.facebook.com/NoVisibleScarsFringeNYC
https://twitter.com/PromProductions

Read more interviews by Maya Contreras on DirtyDurty.com or “Maya’s Blog”on TheBloodlineofShadrickGrace.com

"No Visible Scars" written by Deon Denton. Interview by Maya Contreras.

The New York International Fringe Festival (FringeNYC) is the largest multi-arts festival in North America. It takes place annually in August over the course of two weeks on 20 stages spread across several Manhattan neighborhoods. FringeNYC (unlike other Fringe Festivals) uses a jury-based selection process to pick it’s 200 shows. One of those shows is “No Visible Scars” written by playwright Deon Denton.

Maya Contreras: What is the name of your show?
Deon Denton: No Visible Scars.

MC: What is it about?
DD: The show is about a troubled young woman (Myranda) battling demons from her past. She struggles with “daddy issues”, carries a large black box, measures her life by dying things and has already set the date for her next suicide attempt.

MC: What made you want to write about this particular subject?
DD: I went through a period of tremendous loss and struggled with depression for a period, as a way of therapy I decided to script some of the emotional elements of my experience. It was a very cathartic experience that resulted in some sense of freedom and liberation as I gave myself hope once I saw my experience on paper.

MC: What was the biggest hurdle for you writing this piece?
DD: Suicide and depression is not a popular topic in the black community and especially in the Church. I was hesitant to identify with the character at first because of the taboo placed on mental illness in our society.

MC: What did you enjoy most about the process of writing it?
DD: The creative process of starting out a story with a problem and at the end not having the problem completely resolved but having hope that new strengths was gained to go a little further.

MC: What does it mean to you to be a part of the New York Fringe Festival?
DD: To have my work read and accepted in the New York Fringe is a major milestone for me. I’ve entered the Toronto Fringe a few times before but this is different. The jury based selection process lends a lot of credibility to your work.

MC: Where can we learn more about you and your show (e.g. website, twitter)?
DD: www.promsieproductions.ca, https://www.facebook.com/NoVisibleScarsFringeNYCwww.promsieproductions.ca, https://www.facebook.com/NoVisibleScarsFringeNYC
https://twitter.com/PromProductions

Read more interviews by Maya Contreras on DirtyDurty.com or “Maya’s Blog”on TheBloodlineofShadrickGrace.com

"Forgetting the Details" written by Nicole Maxali. Interview by Maya Contreras.

The New York International Fringe Festival (FringeNYC) is the largest multi-arts festival in North America. It takes place annually in August over the course of two weeks on 20 stages spread across several Manhattan neighborhoods. FringeNYC (unlike other Fringe Festivals) uses a jury-based selection process to pick it’s 200 shows. One of those shows is “Forgetting the Details” written by playwright Nicole Maxali.

Maya Contreras: What is the name of your show?
Nicole Maxali: Forgetting the Details.

MC: What is it about?
NM: Family, Filipinos & Alzheimer’s. The show tells my story of being raised in San Francisco by my traditional Filipino grandmother, yet influenced by my free-spirited father, and the struggles we face as a family when my grandma is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. It’s a powerful story that reaches beyond the Filipino American context and touches upon powerful elements of the human experience. Described by Dave Chappelle as “funny, heartwarming, and funny again,” my one-woman show will make you laugh, cry, and remind you that, in the end, it’s not the details that matter.

MC: What made you want to write about this particular subject?
NM: I started writing this piece in 2006 during a solo performance workshop I was taking taught by W. Kamau Bell (Host of the FX show “Totally Biased”). During that year, my grandma was diagnosed with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. It was a difficult time for my family and for me, especially since my grandma provided unconditional love and stability during my formative years. What do you do when your rock begins to shift into sand? I chose to write. Writing was my coping mechanism—a positive outlet for the pain. After our class final, Kamau told me that it was some of the best writing he has ever seen me perform.
The piece evolved as I performed it in venues around San Francisco. Soon people began approaching me, sharing their own stories about loved ones with Alzheimer’s. They related to this story in a special way due to their experiences with Alzheimer’s. I realized that my show had become something more than just a source of healing for me. It was a way for people to connect to a piece that spoke to their own issues of caregiving, guilt, shame, mental health, and family dynamics. It became a way for other people to heal as well. My desire to add to healing and light in an otherwise dark and painful world of Alzheimer’s disease was my source of inspiration.

MC: What was the biggest hurdle for you writing this piece?
NM: The death of one of the real-life characters in my show occurred suddenly in the middle of the writing process. It was unexpected and devastating for my entire family. I was set to premiere my show November 2011 and this person passed away in July 2011. It was necessary to re-write the entire ending of my show. In those final weeks of rehearsals, I sobbed and balled my eyes out during the last five pages because the feelings of loss were so raw. Unsure if I was going to be able to actually perform without breaking, I told myself that it was okay to be vulnerable because the show must go on. Because of that vulnerability and integrity in the writing, I received standing ovations for my entire run and rave reviews. Yet, all I wanted was to make the person who passed away proud.

MC: What did you enjoy most about the process of writing it?
NM: The memories that flooded back to me about my family. The good and bad.

MC: What does it mean to you to be a part of the New York Fringe Festival?
NM: This is a huge accomplishment! It’s been a dream of mine to get accepted into this festival. I’d love to say one day that FringeNY helped me propel my story and career forward. Former Fringe Participant Mindy Kaling is such an inspiration to young women of color writers out there. She certainly has inspired me to follow down the path she’s paved, while at the same time giving myself space to create my own.

MC: Where can we learn more about you and your show (e.g. website, twitter)?
NM: Website: www.NicoleMaxali.com Twitter: @NicoleMaxali

PROUST QUESTIONNAIRE:

What is your idea of perfect happiness? Writing on the coast of Big Sur and then months later seeing my words on stage/screen.

What is your greatest fear? Getting stuck in a subway car with a dozen rats.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
Writer’s Procrastination.

What is the trait you most deplore in others? Rudeness.

Which living person do you most admire? My mother.

What is your greatest extravagance? Traveling and living a bi-coastal existence.

What is your current state of mind? “Everyday I’m Hustling!”

What do you consider the most overrated virtue? Aggressiveness.

On what occasion do you lie? When my livelihood depends on it… Team Tyrion!

What do you most dislike about your appearance? That dairy/gluten causes me to bloat two sizes up.

Which living person do you most despise? Miley Cyrus

What is the quality you most like in a man? Confidence.

What is the quality you most like in a woman? Self-Love.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
HELLA!!! It’s hella Bay Arean. “California Love”.

What or who is the greatest love of your life? My art.

When and where were you happiest? Camping in Yosemite with my father.

Which talent would you most like to have? Adele’s or Alicia Key’s soulful singing voice.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? I wish I was a little bit taller…

What do you consider your greatest achievement? My children…and by “children” I mean my creative projects.

If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be? A UNICORN!

Where would you most like to live? Paris, France.

What is your most treasured possession? My faith or my vibrator…it’s a close tie since I’m in a long distance relationship.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? The break-up after your first love.

What is your favorite occupation? Solo Performer.

What is your most marked characteristic? Ambition.

Who are your favorite writers? Dr. Maya Angelou & Dave Chappelle.

Who is your hero of fiction? Today, Khaleesi! But when I was growing up, Inigo Montoya!

Which historical figure do you most identify with? Audrey Hepburn.

Who are your heroes in real life? My mother and both my grandmothers.

What are your favorite names? Estrella, Luna & Sol.

What is it that you most dislike? People’s projections of failure and fear put onto others.

What is your greatest regret? Not moving to NYC ten ago.

How would you like to die? At the age of 80, leaving a legacy of art and innovation for those that come after to me…oh yeah and in my sleep.

What is your motto? When I’m passionate about my work, I am devoted to it. Writing is not hard work when it’s heart work.

For more interviews by Maya Contreras go to dirtydurty.com or “maya’s blog” on thebloodlineofshadrickgrace.com

"Love at Home" Written by Mary Webb. Interview by Maya Contreras.

The New York International Fringe Festival (FringeNYC) is the largest multi-arts festival in North America. It takes place annually in August over the course of two weeks on 20 stages spread across several Manhattan neighborhoods. FringeNYC (unlike other Fringe Festivals) uses a jury-based selection process to pick it’s 200 shows. One of those shows is “Love at Home” written by playwright Mary Webb.

Maya Contreras: What is the name of your show?
Mary Webb: Love At Home. It’s the title of an LDS hymn and embodies the soul of this show.

MC: What is it about?
Webb: A lesbian and a Mormon. Two sisters, two paths, a family divided. Love At Home follows the lives of two sisters from their early teens in the 1990’s to the adulthood just after Proposition 8 was passed. We journey with them as the struggle to find a loving space between faith and family in this insightful play that questions the complexities of a unique religion in the face of massive social change.

MC: What made you want to write about this particular subject?
Webb: The time for building a bridge of understanding between the LDS faith and the LGBT world is now.

MC: What was the biggest hurdle for you writing this piece?
Webb: Avoiding stereotypes of both the LDS (Mormon) faith and the LGBT world.

MC: What did you enjoy most about the process of writing it?
Webb: The dynamic between the two sisters. This play is really a love story, when you come down to it, between the two sisters. The process they each go through to navigate the expression of their love for each other is my greatest joy of this piece.

MC: What does it mean to you to be a part of the New York Fringe Festival?
Webb: It is an incredible honor to be included in this year’s New York International Fringe Festival. To be a part of festival with such a rich history and phenomenal reputation is mind blowing to me. Sometimes I still feel like the girl from the trailer park who used to write stories in the back of her notebook. My dad would always tell me to work hard and some day my ship would come in. I feel like my ship is coming in.

MC: Where can we learn more about you and your show (e.g. website, twitter)?
Webb: Indiegogo:
Website: www.loveathometheplay.com
www.facebook.com/LoveAtHomeMaryMatoulaWebb
Twitter: @loveathomeplay

PROUST QUESTIONNAIRE:

What is your idea of perfect happiness? Being near some sort of body of water, with my husband, the incredibly talented writer and actor, Richard Harrison Webb.

What is your greatest fear? To pay the bills, I work as a nurse at Roosevelt Hospital in New York City. My greatest fear is not having the man power, equipment, or facilities during a city wide massive disaster.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
My weakness for dark chocolate.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Their inability to share dark chocolate.

Which living person do you most admire? There are many, and I don’t know all their names. Working in the hospital, I see people in many states of heightened emotional states. I am touched deeply and admire those people I see who face pain and suffering with hope and dignity.

What is your greatest extravagance? Flying home to see my family in the San Francisco Bay Area.

On what occasion do you lie? I truly don’t attempt to deceive anyone purposefully.

What do you most dislike about your appearance?
My hair, but only during extreme humidity.

Which living person do you most despise? There isn’t one person in particular. However, I despise the anyone who tries to take away another human beings’ free will and autonomy.

What is the quality you most like in a man?
Patience and laughter.

What is the quality you most like in a woman?
Patience and laughter.

If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be? I would be me again, ready to see and hear and feel a whole new life time.

Where would you most like to live? Somewhere I could geographically drive to an ocean, a forest, the mountains, and the desert, in 30 minutes from my house. And someplace where driving to Newcastle, England and Crete, Greece would only be a day trip.

What is your most marked characteristic? I was an incredibly shy kid, so I would laugh silently. Now, when something strikes me as really funny, I’ll laugh loudly. It kinda comes out of no where and can take people by surprise.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse? “Take a big breath and bear down like your pooping.” I say this every shift I work at the hospital. Every. Shift.

What or who is the greatest love of your life? The incredibly talented writer and actor, Richard Harrison Webb. We met when we were seventeen and I remember thinking, “I hope this lasts until prom, because we’d make a cute prom couple”.

When and where were you happiest? The most happiest? Probably in mother’s womb, but who knows, I can’t remember that far back. I’ve had many “happiest” times, most of them with Richard, and I plan on having many more. Having my play accepted to the New York International Fringe Festival is definitely at the top of the list.

Which talent would you most like to have?
Broadway level singing and dancing.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? I think I’d be an inch taller.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Having my play, Love At Home, in two fringe festivals this year! I’m so excited to have it seen in my two favorite cities. Get ready New York City and San Francisco.

If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be? I would be me again, ready to see and hear and feel a whole new life time.

What is your most treasured possession? My hopes and my dreams.

What do you most value in your friends? Loyalty and patience.

Who are your favorite writers?
There are so many. Anyone who makes me evaluate the way see the world.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
The inability to forgive oneself.

What is your favorite occupation?
Acting and Writing.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue? “Goodness”. It seems vague. Not as specific as the other virtues (righteousness, morality, integrity, dignity, rectitude, honor, decency, respectability, etc)

What is it that you most dislike?
Red cockroaches.

What is your greatest regret?
No regrets.

How would you like to die?
Painlessly.

What is your motto?
“If not now, then when? If not me, then who?”

Check Out “Love at Home” at FringeNYC in August 2014.

Read more interviews by Maya Contreras
on dirtydurty.com and “maya’s blog” on
thebloodlineofshadrickgrace.com. Thank you.

Words to live by…

“It’s a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you’re ready. I have this feeling now that actually no one is ever ready to do anything. There’s almost no such thing as ready. There’s only now. And you may as well do it now. I mean, I say that confidently as if I’m about to go bungee jumping or something - I’m not. I’m not a crazed risk taker. But I do think that, generally speaking, now is as good a time as any.” - Hugh Laurie. xo Maya

Words to live by…

“It’s a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you’re ready. I have this feeling now that actually no one is ever ready to do anything. There’s almost no such thing as ready. There’s only now. And you may as well do it now. I mean, I say that confidently as if I’m about to go bungee jumping or something - I’m not. I’m not a crazed risk taker. But I do think that, generally speaking, now is as good a time as any.” - Hugh Laurie. xo Maya

"Natural Causes" written by Kevin Clancy. Interview by Maya Contreras. 

The New York International Fringe Festival (FringeNYC) is the largest multi-arts festival in North America.  It takes place annually in August over the course of two weeks on 20 stages spread across several Manhattan neighborhoods. FringeNYC (unlike other Fringe Festivals) uses a jury-based selection process to pick it’s 200 shows. One of those shows is “Natural Causes” written by playwright and actor Kevin Clancy.

Maya Contreras: What is the name of your show? 

Kevin Clancy:  Natural Causes.

MC: What is it about? 

KC: Inspired by true events, it delves into the complicated decision a doctor made to “euthanize” some patients at a hospital in New Orleans after being isolated for several days by Hurricane Katrina.

MC: What made you want to write about this particular subject?

KC: I usually write plays that express feelings I’ve had in situations in my life, but when I saw this story on the TV news, I was moved to write a play about it. 

MC: What was the biggest hurdle for you writing this piece?

KC: The biggest hurdle for me to write this play was, although it is a work of fiction, I felt it was important to represent the situation as realistically as possible and provide each of the characters involved with respect as to their points of view (their jobs, their responsibilities, their humanity) without judgment. I want the audience members to feel what they felt, and come to their own conclusions about the ethical and moral decisions that were made.

MC: What did you enjoy most about the process of writing it?

KC: This was a very different writing experience for me. I’ve written five other full length plays and several one act plays, but this was the first time I’ve been inspired to write a play from the perspective of an outsider, researching this true event and coming up with fictional but comparable plot, characters and themes, so in that sense it was a unique process I enjoyed as a writer.

MC: What does it mean to you to be a part of the New York Fringe Festival?

KC:  I am very excited to be a part of The Fringe Festival. It has always represented to me everything I love about theatre: risky, thought provoking, passionate. I thank my director and producer George Domenick and Traci Timmons, who thought “Natural Causes” belonged in The Fringe and gave me the support and encouragement to submit it.

MC: Where can we learn more about you and your show (e.g. website, twitter)?

KC: My theatre company is Darknight Productions. We are currently in our 13th year. Our website is darknightproductions.com

Read more interviews by Maya Contreras at thebloodlineofshadrickgrace.com & dirtydurty.com.

"Natural Causes" written by Kevin Clancy. Interview by Maya Contreras.

The New York International Fringe Festival (FringeNYC) is the largest multi-arts festival in North America. It takes place annually in August over the course of two weeks on 20 stages spread across several Manhattan neighborhoods. FringeNYC (unlike other Fringe Festivals) uses a jury-based selection process to pick it’s 200 shows. One of those shows is “Natural Causes” written by playwright and actor Kevin Clancy.

Maya Contreras: What is the name of your show?

Kevin Clancy: Natural Causes.

MC: What is it about?

KC: Inspired by true events, it delves into the complicated decision a doctor made to “euthanize” some patients at a hospital in New Orleans after being isolated for several days by Hurricane Katrina.

MC: What made you want to write about this particular subject?

KC: I usually write plays that express feelings I’ve had in situations in my life, but when I saw this story on the TV news, I was moved to write a play about it.

MC: What was the biggest hurdle for you writing this piece?

KC: The biggest hurdle for me to write this play was, although it is a work of fiction, I felt it was important to represent the situation as realistically as possible and provide each of the characters involved with respect as to their points of view (their jobs, their responsibilities, their humanity) without judgment. I want the audience members to feel what they felt, and come to their own conclusions about the ethical and moral decisions that were made.

MC: What did you enjoy most about the process of writing it?

KC: This was a very different writing experience for me. I’ve written five other full length plays and several one act plays, but this was the first time I’ve been inspired to write a play from the perspective of an outsider, researching this true event and coming up with fictional but comparable plot, characters and themes, so in that sense it was a unique process I enjoyed as a writer.

MC: What does it mean to you to be a part of the New York Fringe Festival?

KC: I am very excited to be a part of The Fringe Festival. It has always represented to me everything I love about theatre: risky, thought provoking, passionate. I thank my director and producer George Domenick and Traci Timmons, who thought “Natural Causes” belonged in The Fringe and gave me the support and encouragement to submit it.

MC: Where can we learn more about you and your show (e.g. website, twitter)?

KC: My theatre company is Darknight Productions. We are currently in our 13th year. Our website is darknightproductions.com

Read more interviews by Maya Contreras at thebloodlineofshadrickgrace.com & dirtydurty.com.

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