This is a series of posts featuring our artists who are making things happen in and around our great borough of Queens. Please check back weekly for new posts.
Where were you born?
Plantation, Florida. I’m Swamp Trash.
Which Queens neighborhood do you live in and for how long?
I live right on the border of Woodside & Sunnyside. Technically my address is Woodside but I tell people Sunnyside because, frankly, I have yet to learn the consequences of lying.
How did you get involved in theater?
I grew up in Central Florida where we had a pretty amazing regional theater called Seaside Music Theater. One of the first shows I remember seeing at SMT was Marsha Norman & Lucy Simon’s The Secret Garden, and it kind of changed my life. It was the first time I remember being completely transported to another world and being deeply affected by the power of theater. After that I started seeing theater regularly. I joined my school’s drama club. I started acting. I wrote plays. I stopped acting. I kept writing plays. And now here I am. (Incidentally, my childhood infatuation with theater via The Secret Garden has actually been turned into theater. Former Sunnyside playwright/composer Matt Schatz used my “theater awakening” story as inspiration for a song in his musical LOVE TRAPEZOID. The song is called, appropriately enough, “The Secret Garden.”)
What do you love most about Queens?
I like that Queens keeps surprising me. I’ve lived here almost a decade and yet every year I discover something new to love about it. Some hidden gem of a restaurant. A museum. A park. Queens doesn’t really advertise itself so it’s up to you to find out what it has to offer. I like that it makes me put in the effort.
Your top Queens picks (food, entertainment, sights, etc)?
In my opinion there is no greater restaurant in all of Queens that De Mole. It’s the most delicious, least expensive Mexican food I have ever had. They even make an insanely good cheeseburger. If you like tapas (and who doesn’t like tapas?), the chefs at Salt & Fat are endlessly inventive. I just had a dessert there that consisted of beet sorbet, chocolate “dirt,” and mint sprigs. It was so quirky and delicious I couldn’t stop smiling. The Queens Museum and Unisphere are amazing. They’re located in Flushing Meadows (the former site of the 1964 World’s Fair) and you could spend a whole day walking the grounds.
In June I’ll be heading up to the Berkshires for the Berkshires Playwrights Lab’s 7th Annual Gala. My one-act THE AGE OF IRON will be part of an evening of short plays that are being staged to help raise money for BPL.