The End of Days
nytheatre.com q&a preview by Jeffrey James Keyes
July 23, 2012
What is your job on this show?
I'm the playwright. .
Where were you born? Where were you raised? Where did you go to school?
I was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. My parents were going to name me "Jesse James Keyes" but decided against it because my mom didn't want me to be a bank robber. Instead, I became a playwright. I was raised in Bay View, the most beautiful neighborhood of Milwaukee. I grew up climbing trees, sailing, and dreaming big dreams. I moved to New York in 1998 to study theater and visual arts at Fordham University College at the Lincoln Center. After college I took a few years off to travel and write before going back to school to pursue my MFA in Playwriting from Columbia University's MFA Playwriting Program.
Why did you want to be part of FringeNYC?
I've had a number of friends present their work in FringeNYC and have always been secretly envious. With the end of the Mayan Calendar approaching I knew I had to act fast. When The End of Days was accepted into the festival I didn't think I would be able to make it work but Chris Eleftheriades, Maribeth Fox, Joe Chmielewski, and two-year-old Jonah (our executive producer) stepped in and offered to lend a hand. Jonah started a grassroots campaign to raise the necessary funds and has been ever so helpful with helping this play come to life. The End of Days wouldn't be possible if it weren't for this amazing team.
In your own words, what do you think this show is about? What will audiences take away with them after seeing it?
Kitt, a world-renowned photographer, has spent his days globetrotting and on a quest to capture the perfect image. But in his years on the road, he has never been able to escape a haunting desire for his original muse, Nina. Back on location in New York City, with the urgency of the end of the world, Kitt seeks Nina out and shows up at her door. Deeply moving, funny and timely, The End of Days invites you to imagine what steps you might retrace if you only had this one last chance.
Which “S” word best describes your show: SMOOTH, SEXY, SMART, SURPRISING?
SIMPLE. I'm a student of realism and firmly believe there is a profound truth, beauty, and relevance that stems from artists who work from a place of minimalism and controlled simplicity.
If you had ten million dollars that you had to spend on theatrical endeavors, how would you use the money?
I would buy real estate in Manhattan and create real programs and opportunities for theater artists to generate new material and collaborate with artists of other disciplines. Writers and artists have to be focused on self-producing, submitting, and networking instead of creating and writing. We're unable to focus on creating new material because of the perpetual onslaught of the "business of art". We are longing for our Cafe Cino and it doesn't exist. I would like to change everything and inspire a new generation of writers and artists who can focus on the work at hand.