What kind of plays do you write? Comedies? Dramas? Where does this play fall in the spectrum?
I write plays that examine the complex and chaotic world of love. They fall under the romantic dramedy genre. I always aim to evoke strong emotions from my audience by portraying different couples in different stages of relationships.
What made you write it? Is it based on real life experiences or is it total fiction?
I wrote You Love That I’m Not Your Wife because I wanted to explore what modern day love in Los Angeles looks like. Los Angeles is a character in this script, as this play could not take place in any other city. No one comes to La La Land to fall in love, as Los Angeles is arguably the most lonely, non-committed city in the world. People move to Los Angeles to chase “the dream”. The characters in this play are very much influenced by this, as well as the city’s abundance of beauty, glamour, wealth, consistent sunshine and amount of options. Although this is not an autobiographical piece, some characters were based on real life experiences. The ten characters in this play are all very different, but they are bound together by one thing- their need for love and the fear they experience when they are not receiving it. This causes them to act in ways they never expected. These are insatiable, crazy, complex, but lovable characters all yearning to be understood and wanted.
Who is your greatest inspiration as a writer? Why?
Woody Allen is my greatest inspiration as a writer because he never stops working and is committed to uncovering all the many ways to tell a story. His talent, discipline and passion towards his work are all things I strive for. He is a risk taker. Allen has a unique mind and his work is always original. His imagination is one of a genius and his courage to write such complex and interesting characters inspires me. Like me, he is also a neurotic native New Yorker, who is obsessed with life, death and why we are all here.
What do you hope audiences will take away from the play?
No matter who we are, where we are from, and what our age is…our need for connection with others shapes the structure of our emotional lives and causes us to act in ways we never imagined. Love at its best is a bouquet of great feelings, such as: joy, romance, passion, trust, interest, curiosity, and openness. This is the love we all strive for and want. The characters in this play disconnect from their partner when someone or something threatens them from getting this kind of love. Love triggers our fears and vulnerabilities. To love another means accepting them exactly as they are. Without this acceptance, we will never be able to have a committed relationship sealed by trust. I want our audience to take away these ingredients from my love recipe.
What is it like wearing several hats in the production of a play? Are you serving as director/producer/writer in this case? Do you like a third eye or not?
I am serving as the director, producer and writer of this production, and it is exhausting and exhilarating all at the same time. I actually do not think I could do it any other way. I love wearing all these hats, as I am a control freak who needs to micromanage every part of this production. I have not slept a full night since we started rehearsals, yet I am more awake then ever. I do receive help from my co-producer Stacy Raposa, as well as my technical director Kajal Ardestani and publicist Michael Sterling. Paul Storiale, theater manager of The Avery Schreiber Playhouse, often serves as my third eye when I choose to listen to what he sees. I find that the best directors are open to the collaborative nature of our work.
Anything else you care to add?
I am dedicating this production to my beautiful dog Match, who died of sudden death from an unknown cause on July 18th 2014. I wrote this play with her on my lap, and she is at the center of all the heart, passion and love I have put into this. Her sister Skype has been my assistant director who radiates Match’s loving energy at every rehearsal. I also have been blessed to be working with a very talented and supportive group of actors who helped me bring my words to life.
The Avery Schreiber Playhouse is located at 4934 Lankershim Boulevard in NoHo. Opening Night is Friday, September 12th at 8:00 pm, followed by performances on Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 pm and Sundays at 7:00pm through October 5.