At the nerdiest, most formal level, my work is always an experiment in comedy and the place laughter holds in a world that feels violent and heartbreaking. In one of my most recent plays, You Are What You, disordered eating, self-harm, grief, and toxic relationships are all addressed bluntly in the kind of zany plotline theatres are always tempted to refer to as a “romp.” These tonal leaps are extremely interesting to me, and in practice I like to think they create opportunities to talk about the hard subjects in a way that feels safe. My goal is always for the jokes to feel honest and motivated, and inclusive rather than exclusive.
I have always had a fascination with the outsider. The outsider is observant, lonely, quick to fall in love, easy to hurt, simultaneously vulnerable to the vastness of the universe, and obsessed with the trivial and minute. I believe there is an outsider in all of us, peering in through windows and tapping at doors. In my recent work I have explored the outsider through aliens, mermaids, robots, and mimes, through angsty teens and floundering parents, the gay, the poor, and the socially inept, the bad with words and the good at parties. They all get a seat and they all get a voice. The theater is a place where outsiders may enter in.