The impulse to create is inherent. Our cells, our whole world is in a constant state of recreating itself. We mimic this; we create a bridge, a cure, a vengeance. Jung said: “A neurotic is an artist without a medium.” To be healthy we need to create, recreate, and ask the big What If. Nothing in our progressing world could exist without imagining it first.
The biologist uses a microscope slide as his stage. I cast a light on history, the women who slap back, the man invited into Abraham Lincoln’s bed. History is written through the conqueror’s voice, but there are children, women, slaves, immigrants whose stories resurrect the candle that did not go out.
As a gay boy, homosexuality was considered a mental disease and the Vietnam War raged as the result of another lie. I witnessed enormous social movements prove the lawmakers wrong. These movements were caused by people, unique characters I want to introduce myself to, as they learn to accept their inherent right to love, often at war with their families, or a bloodthirsty nation. I want to bring these characters to life on stage.
Being the child of Old World immigrants I have been witness to the mistreatment of my parents as a result of their accents, but also have witnessed how they adapted to a new world which cracked their prejudices open. My plays explore those growing pains, yielding toward the light, and the idea, never to assume a heart is too small.
Marcia Norman, in a Kennedy Center class, said that to be generate our best work, we must write about our “stuff”. My stuff is Religion, that vampire which needs a stake in its heart. I write about its contradiction, its soothing seduction and its oppression. Building a cathedral in Killarney during the famine, the irony, that for hundreds of years, Christians would have murdered Jesus’ mother because she is a Jew. And here is my contradiction, I don’t believe in God but I believe in spirits. I believe there is something which painfully connects us to the all. This often adds a lyricism and magical realism to some of my work and empathy for my characters which may have fallen under the God spell.