In 2014, I found myself in a place where I couldn’t write a damn word. I was tapped out after several intense years of writing plays, two of which were spent at Juilliard where I had my first taste of theater in New York. I returned to LA in need of a mental break and replenishing of the well. So, instead of writing, I decided to do something more tactile — rehab a family property that was in disrepair. I hired a handyman, a friend of a friend, and we started to do things like re-grout the tile, fix a retaining wall — pretty much whatever was needed to beautify an aging home in Echo Park. After a while, I found myself enjoying the work, but even more so, the company. This handyman was teaching me valuable things — things I never learned from my own father, about how to care for a house like a living, breathing organism. There was one hitch — I was unsure of whether or not this man was documented.
I didn’t have the gall to ask, nor did it matter. But it did start me on the road back to a play, one in which a liberal couple is thrust into a situation where the couples’ values are challenged.
It’s 2018, almost four years after I started writing, and the play looks different in the context of our rapidly changing times. Now, immigration reform is a headline. While this is not a political play, it deals with human issues that have become intensely politicalized. Who do we care for, as a society and as individuals, and why? And how much of our identity as liberal Americans is predicated on our actions versus our words?
The World Premiere co-pro with The Latino Theater Company and IAMA in early 2019. I hope that audiences from both communities watch this play together. The theater is not one-sided. Who sees a play matters to me just as much as what is on the stage.
We just did a reading of the play in the LTC’s summer festival and look forward to the ongoing collaboration of ideas and ideals under one roof.