Wednesday, June 21, 2017

I Interview Playwrights Part 954: Dylan Guerra



Dylan Guerra

Hometown: Miami, FL

Current Town: NYC, NY

Q:  Tell me about your upcoming shows.

A:  My play "Get Hit" runs June 29th- July 8th at The Medicine Show Theater. It's produced by my small theater company, The Company Company. The play's a comedy about a group of college students desperate for money who start a con operation involving insurance fraud. It's a wild show that's sort of been living with me for several years- it started as a workshop in 2014 and eventually grew into this production. 

Then in August, "The Play About Five Men in a Bathroom" is being presented as part of NY Summerfest. It's about five men in the bathroom of a gay nightclub in Dallas, Texas.

You can get tickets to "Get Hit" here: http://gethitnyc.brownpapertickets.com/

Q:  What else are you working on?

A:  I write comedy for the radio on the regular. I'm also working on a series of interconnected one acts about people who drill holes in their head to perceive time differently, there aren't any character names and it kind of looks like a poem and I've lost track of who's talking when. 

I'm also working on a play about a group of gay Latino men struggling to move forward in the wake of the shooting at a gay nightclub. It's got a character who becomes a "pop star" and so I'm working with a composer for the first time, which is new and strange and like learning a new language of storytelling.

Q:  Tell me, if you will, a story from your childhood that explains who you are as a writer or as a person:

A:  When I was like ten, I asked for a hat rack for my birthday. I don't know why, I think it's because I watched a lot of old movies and I thought that in order to be someone important you needed a hat rack. And then I got it. And I covered it in hats. And I still have it. And I don't use it. But I can't throw it out. Or I won't. I also thought/think it's a funny word "hat rack". 

Oh, also, I used to set up a stage made out of hard cover children's books and perform for my parents. I think a lot of kids did this-- I just think the image of a smaller me standing on stories and telling stories is kind of cool.

Q:  If you could change one thing about theater, what would it be?

A:  More diversity on stage, and more diversity behind the table in the rehearsal room. More stories about different cultures put through their own lens.

Q:  Who are or were your theatrical heroes? 

A:  Oh man.
I grew up watching my mom run an improv company and my dad do stand-up in comedy clubs all over the place.
Annie Baker, Tarrell McCraney, Stephen Adley Guirgis, Leslie Ayvazian, Elia Kazan, Susan Lori-Parks, Lisa Kron and Jose Rivera. All for various reasons.

Q:  What kind of theater excites you?

A:  I'm excited by stories of cultures I know nothing about.
I also love plays about a people dealing with itself. I recently saw Sojourners and Her Portmanteau at NYTW and it was electric. 

Fast plays that you have to physically hook in to. 

Okay okay- I got it- I'm drawn to plays that provide the door or window or whatever- they provide the access point but they don't push you through it. Plays that are shamelessly about the characters and for the characters. I'm thinking of The Antipodes, which put those people in one room and had them converse or whatever, and it was your job as the audience member to go there with them. They didn't make you go there, you went there yourself. 

That idea is maybe a little "woo woo" but it's working for me right now so--

Q:  What advice do you have for playwrights just starting out?

A:  Keep going. Don't let anyone step on your creativity or drive. Every path is different.
It's not as scary as you think, but it's also not not scary. It's good scary that makes you feel like you're meant to do this. Embrace the scary.
ha, I like that, embrace the scary.

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