(Stoya and Seth Gilliam in rehearsal for The Last Bar At The End of The World)
Jorge Solis interviewed me about my third play, THE LAST BAR AT THE END OF THE WORLD at Villain Media.
"When my second play, Harakiri Kane was enjoying its ten-sold out performances at The Brick in Brooklyn, NY — produced by Gemini CollisionWorks — I was busy writing my third play. I wanted to ride the momentum and the synergy of the actors, directors and the audiences kept me going full throttle. The Last Bar at the End of the World is a Frankenstein of several sources: equal parts an abandoned screenplay, essays I wrote when I was on retreat at Yaddo, and brand new material reacting to a post-truth world as seen through the eyes of two best friends who come to a proverbial fork-in-the-road to face their demons. One guy is an attorney and the other is a cartoonist. And they both encounter marvelous women who trigger change."
"Writing comix relies on artists to fully realize the story, whereas writing plays relies on actors to perform the tale. And, the pacing is different. A parlay can go longer in theater and earn space for monologues. Too much text in a comic doesn’t look right and feels clogged. Cast the right actor and they can read you the phone book and keep you on the edge of your seat. But, you sure wouldn’t wanna read a graphic novel of the phone book. Although, now that I’m thinking about it, I’ll bet cartoonist, R. Sikoryak could make it sing."
"Phil Cruise is fierce and intense. Once he embodies a project, he knows exactly what he wants but is open to intelligent influence. There’s nothing wishy-washy about Phil. He reminds me of me only it’s an early morning version of me. He’s the farmer to my grave digger. The fact that he’s a great actor AND produces and directs is a great asset. I’ve been lucky to have my plays produced and directed by actors like Phil Cruise and Ian W. Hill. I learn a lot from their insight and innovations."
"I tend to write a mouthful — Thanks, Anna Stefanic! — and I bite the inside of my cheek every time I watch a performance of my play because I know I’ve created a real challenge with the words. But the actors figure out a way to make me sound good and they elevate the story. As a cartoonist, I’ve gotten pretty good at pacing stories and creating melodrama. Something the actors have to do with their voices an bodies and behavior. It’s a wonder to watch and absorb. A thrill. The major difference is that you can roll up a comic book into your back pocket or bookmark a webcomic and read it again later. Guerilla-style, black box theater is nearly impossible to record, so the performance evaporates into an experience you can only carry in your heart and mind. Theater is bittersweet!"
"If there’s anything that officially makes me a jerk, it’s the fact that I haven’t watched The Wire yet. I know…I KNOW!! Stop berating me world! So, the thing I know mostly about Seth Gilliam’s work is that they like to make him cry…A LOT…on The Walking Dead. So much so, I actually complained to Robert Kirkman about it. And, they finally let Seth have a machete and a gun, so he can man up a little. But, in all seriousness, Seth took to Tobias, the character he portrays in The Last Bar…, like a fish to water. His ability to flex a wide range of emotions is astounding. Even when Seth is quiet, he holds you hostage. Now, I gotta go watch The Wire!"
"Thanks, I thought Stoya did a great job playing Sharon in Harakiri Kane! Especially her final monologue! It was a beautiful! Made me cry a few times! When I think about writing for Stoya, I try to imagine her in situations she hasn’t performed. I try to cast her opposite of what others might do. Because she’s an international pornstar, I enjoyed the irony that she had to play an abstinent agent of death in my last play. I like to challenge Stoya and substantiate her versatility as an actress. I wrote Stella, specifically for Stoya to portray in The Last Bar at the End of the World. Stella is a tricky character to play and I can’t wait to see Stoya put her into action!"
Read the entire interview here: https://villainmedia.com/interview-dean-haspiel-last-bar-end-world/