"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.