July 28, 2013

  • “This Play Was Written For YOU!”

    That’s what friend and fellow playwright Prince Gomolvilas said to me when we spotted one another across the aisle yesterday at the final reading of his new play The Brothers Paranormal at the Bay Area Playwrights Festival.

    After the show he reiterated that statement, adding, “You love scary movies, you love to cry. You’re the perfect audience for this play.”

    And he’s right. I love scary movies (you should see my Netflix queue) and I love theatre that reaches into my chest, grabs hold of my heart and squeezes.

    Prince knows this about me because we’ve been friends since 2005 when we both were in the Bay Area Playwrights Festival (that was his second appearance at BAPF and my first). Since then, even though he’s based in Los Angeles, we keep up with each other’s work–I attend Jukebox Stories every time it comes to the Bay Area and he’s kept up with my work, even teaching one of my plays.

    Prince (left) and musician Brandon Patton (right) performing Jukebox Stories.

    So I was more than happy to trek from my foggy neighborhood in the Inner Richmond to sunny Potrero Hill where Thick House is located (the theatre space that BAPF uses for its festival). I left my little home around 2:30 pm and got home around 10pm. Yes, almost 8 hours later–I love when theatre turns into a party.

    The Brother Paranormal is full of humor, scares and emotional explorations of both death and the psychological toll of leaving a life behind when immigrating to a new country. It was funny, scary, poignant, riffed on the horror genre in expected (and fun) ways, but still managed to surprise and delight with the unexpected turns the narrative took.

    After the reading I headed over to a dinner party held in Prince’s honor at a near by sushi restaurant where I caught up a bit with another theatre friend, met some fans of Prince’s work who attend all of his Bay Area shows, met an actor from the reading whom I hadn’t met before and of course chatted with Prince a bit as he floated from table to table.

    It was the perfect way to end the night and I hopped on the 22 bus to begin my trek back to my place very happy. Very happy, indeed.


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