I believe in the power of live performance to transform both audience and performer. I believe by creating a new rhythm for my own heartbeat, I can invite yours to beat with mine, and we are both changed in this meeting. I poke around in areas that are fraught with polarity—the Middle East, issues of class and ethnicity, family dynamics. If I identify with one side, the other will not listen. “My” side won’t listen either, since they assume they know what I have to say. I take no side, and endeavor to create an empathic experience, against which there is no defense.
Solo performance is extreme live performance: It’s just you and me, audience and performer. My work is largely based on personal story: My 2000 play Looking for Louie, for instance, is based on the search for a mysterious great-grandfather, about whom nobody would ever speak. The narrative is the detective story: Who was he? What happened that nobody would talk about? The “story,” for me, however, is not the narrative, it’s the intent: I want Louie to say something along the lines of, “Forgiveness is essential for us to move on, and it’s possible, whether people are dead or not.”