San Diego Playwrights

Getting San Diego Playwrights Produced on San Diego Stages

PERCEPTION–An Interview with Joe Nogra

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Tell us about yourself.

Outside the humdrum life of his 9-5 world, Joe Nogra is an aspiring playwright and actor. “Walter Mitty ain’t got nothing on me!” (He’s saying this in his best Denzel voice). Fairly new to the theatre scene, he had the idea for PERCEPTION at a workshop hosted by the San Diego Asian American Repertory Theatre and facilitated by Professor George Ye, Professor Sheldon Deckelbaum and Playwright Thelma Virata de Castro. At first a 10 minute play, it garnered very positive responses – and enough responses that it elicited a full length production. PERCEPTION was born that day May 2013 and it’s jumping over the moon this March 2014, in a few days.

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Tell us about PERCEPTION.

The idea stemmed from how people are perceived. In general, perception is applicable to all aspects of society. For example, how one looks, speaks, even down to musical preference. The play PERCEPTION singles out relationships. Take social media, add a creative online persona, and one can bend their perceptions to whoever will view. I can see this idea being approached in multiple angles, chose the comedic side of this situation, and presented it in a play.

What have been your challenges? What have been your successes?

I wanted to give the characters lots of depth but not take away from the protagonist’s journey. When writing the story, I felt compelled to tell the other characters’ story also. I told them that if they’re nice to me, maybe they’ll have their time in the future, but today is Chris’s story! Another challenge I had was picturing the set. In the end, I consider keeping the protagonist’s trip focused a personal success. And the Mesa College Theatre Company took care of the other successes… The set. The sounds. The lights. The tech. It’s a long list…

What is your next step?

The next step for PERCEPTION? Maybe with a little luck, it finds an audience beyond San Diego. If not, it doesn’t take away that I’ve been blessed with the presence of talented actors and a hardworking crew. To be involved was truly an experience and so much fun. This production goes beyond the normal theatre experience. The next step on a personal level? Continue being a theatre fan that’s looking forward to creative times ahead.

Thanks for talking with us Joe! Break a leg with PERCEPTION!

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HOLY NAME–An Interview with Michael Eichler

He chose a Holy Name.
He chose a Holy Name.

Tell us about yourself.

I have been writing for only five years. Prior to that I had two careers. The first was as a community organizer. I worked in low-income neighborhoods around the country and trained young people in a model of community organizing called Consensus Organizing. My second career was as a university professor, teaching in the Social Work School at SDSU. Both careers gave me plenty of ideas for play writing.

Tell us about your play HOLY NAME.

HOLY NAME is set in a working class neighborhood in the 60’s. It centers on one family and their mentally ill mother. It is my hope that the play can serve as a starting point for people to think of the devastation that mental illness can cause in today’s families and show how little we have advanced in the past century.

What are some of your challenges with HOLY NAME?

One challenge in the play is that one of the sons is 12. It is a key role and pretty demanding. Another challenge is that you can’t have too many light moments in a play with this theme. Will the audience be okay with that?

What is your next step?

My next step for the play is to have a workshop production. That’s the only way to really know what you have.

Thanks for talking to us about HOLY NAME. Good luck with the reading and workshop production!

There will be a reading of HOLY NAME on Tuesday, March 25th at 7:30 p.m. at Moxie Theatre, 6663 El Cajon Blvd, San Diego, CA 92115. Reservations can be made by calling 619 594 3870 or emailing jenmartinez@mail.sdsu.edu. Tickets are $10 and all proceeds benefit the Consensus Organizing Center.

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