Q: How long have you been a Barefoot Theatre Company ensemble member?
A: Since 2009.
Q: Where are you from?
A: I'm from Hanford, California, a small farm town about thirty miles south of Fresno.
Q: What kind of community did you grow up with there?
A: My parents are both Portuguese immigrants, who immigrated from the Azores islands. So I grew up with a very strong Portuguese, Catholic community. My mother is the choir director, my father is a deacon, and my uncle is a priest at one of the largest Portuguese communities in America, (Turlock, California).
Q: So how did you end up writing a play about Jewish brothers in Midwood, Brooklyn?
A: I was attending Brooklyn College for undergrad, and I was
mesmerized by the thriving Orthodox Jewish community in
Midwood. I wanted to write something about a close knit community, dominated by a strong faith, something I knew very well on a personal level. But I also wanted to open up the story, to not limit it to something strictly autobiographical. My fiance, Jessica Langer and I had just started dating five years ago when I first began writing Teeth Of The Sons. She is Jewish, and getting to know her, I was fascinated by the similarities that our cultures shared. But I was also intrigued by the effects the Holocaust had on her upbringing. Her grandmother, a holocaust survivor, persevered through so many unbelievable challenges. Giving the feuding brothers in this play an aging grandmother who survived the holocaust, really brings into question the cost of abandoning, or embracing their family and faith.
Stay Tuned for Part 2 of this interview...in the meantime, be sure to get your tixs to Teeth Of The Sons at The Cherry Lane Theatre with previews beginning on April 20th...