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Rise

nytheatre.com q&a preview by Joseph Samuel Wright
March 27, 2013

What is your job on this show?
Playwright.

What is your show about?
RISE is an opera-infused play intertwining the tale of Rome's most infamous anarchist Emperor with the extravagant ambition of four modern-day misfits.

When did you know you wanted to work in the theater, and why?
I knew I wanted to work in theatre when I saw a touring production of Cabaret. The show moved me so deeply that I immediately wanted to master the art form so that one day I could move people. I have since dedicated my education and writing career to crafting plays that will be meaningful to audiences, with emotional impact and social relevance.

What are some of your previous theater credits? (Be specific! Name shows, etc.)
NYC Full-Length play productions: “Miss Hope's” presented by NyLon Fusion at ATA's Sargent Theatre, NYC (June 2012) -- Directed by David Triacca, Co-Written with Jack Karp and Alisha Silver; “Bck t th Grnd” presented by RaW Theatrical at the Shetler Bridge Theatre, NYC (May 2012) -- Directed by Alex Beck; “What If” presented by Sightline and the Culture Project at the Living Theatre, NYC (February 2012) -- Directed by Calla Videt, Co-Written with Arlo Hill, James Morris, Alisha Silver, and Calla Videt, Choreography by Rick and Jeff Kuperman, Music by Arlen Hart; “You Are Here” presented by NyLon Fusion at the Gene Frankel Theatre, NYC (November 2011) -- Directed by Jerry Ruiz, Co-Written with Jack Karp, Kate Mulley, and Alisha Silver; “Unbecoming” presented by RaW Theatrical at the Shetler Bridge Theatre, NYC (May 2011) -- Directed by Alex Beck; Shorter Plays: "For You for Me for Us" presented by NyLon Fusion at the Gene Frankel Theatre, NYC (February 2013); "MASH" presented by NyLon Fusion at the Gene Frankel Theatre, NYC (October 2012); "Wedding Fools" presented by Lightyear Production at the Gene Frankel Theatre, NYC (September 2012); "The Schmerr Campaigne" presented by NyLon Fusion at the Gene Frankel Theatre, NYC (July 2012); "Wedding Fools" staged by Core Ensemble at TBG Theatre, NYC (July 2012); "Wedding Fools" presented by NyLon Fusion at the Gene Frankel, NYC (April 2012); "Chemistry" presented by Artistic New Directions at Theatre 54, NYC (February 2012) -- Directed by Alisha Silver; "Mary, Mary" presented by NyLon Fusion at the Gene Frankel, NYC (February 2012); "Mommy Drinkest" presented at LSU's Outworks Festival, Baton Rouge, LA (March 2011); “Mask of Medusa” presented by RaW Theatrical in Central Park, NYC (September - October 2010) -- Directed by Lauren Rayner; “My Big, Thick Schtick” presented at the Bridge Theatre, NYC (June 2010) -- Directed by Samantha Shechtman; "Mary, Mary" presented by RaW Theatrical at the Red Room, NYC (March 2010) --Directed by Samantha Shechtman; "Mommy Drinkest" presented by RaW Theatrical at Under St. Marks, NYC (June 2009) -- Directed by Samantha Shectman; Pre-NYC Produced Full-Lengths: “Constellation Nightglow” presented at the Clarence Brown Theatre Lab, Knoxville, TN (February 2008) -- Directed by Jonathan Seymore; “Ours” produced by David Ratliff at Maryville College, Maryville, TN (November 2007); “Ours” produced by David Ratliff at Maryville College, Maryville, TN (March 2006); “Ours” presented at the Wesleyan Theatre, Knoxville, TN (November 2005);

Are there any cautions or warnings you’d like to make about the show (e.g., not appropriate for little kids)?
RISE does contain adult continent and the scandalous shenanigans of a decadent Roman emperor. Not suited for young children.

Which famous person would you most like to get a fan letter from: Denzel Washington, Maggie Smith, Ang Lee, Jennifer Lawrence?
Frances McDormand. I have such respect and admiration for her work, and she seems to be intelligent and grounded in your craft. Also, she's hilarious.

Who are your heroes?
Eve Ensler, Ed Sylvanus Iskandar, Liz Lerman, Audra McDonald, Janet McTeer, Lynn Nottage, Paul Rudnick, Mark Schultz, Leigh Silverman, Anna Deavere Smith, Jeanine Tesori