I've seen the BOA festival a couple of times in past years, and I was always blown away by the diversity and talent that comprises the SF indie theater scene. From the very first production I saw, I thought to myself, "I want to be a part of that." So I'm extremely proud that Wily West finally gets to share the stage with such an amazing group of cutting edge theater-makers. I didn't think I was going to be able to do this project, considering I was already working on two other theatrical productions. But, Quinn Whitaker convinced me that I could do it, and so I took on three theater projects simultaneously. I guess it worked out! This festival, like the SF Fringe, is one of the best representations of the SF indie theater scene, and it's exciting to simply be a part of it.
How did 3 SISTERS WATCHING THREE SISTERS come to be?
Wily West kicked off our 2013 season with an experimental staged reading this year: we gave (carefully selected) playwrights 6 days to write a short script based on a theme or subject, then they competed for best play based on audience votes. They were split into two teams and the festival was called the "Showdown." Ignacio was part of a group of writers who were given the topic "he found it in a dark hole in the woods." What I loved about Iggy's script is that he didn't take the topic literally, he worked it into a well-structured storyline with subtlety, and let his characters tell their story through strong relationships. (His team won, by the way.)
What did you learn by participating in BOA this year?
On a personal level, I learned how tough I am. Not only did I juggle a full-time job along with rehearsals, production meetings and logistics for three different shows, I persevered in a crisis. There is only one set piece for Three Sisters, but it's vital to the show. The actors must be sitting in a row of theater seats. We were assured that we had theater seats available to us, then a week before Opening the seats fell through. I had a mere four days to come up with a row of theater seats and I realized that there was no way I would take no for an answer. I made myself crazy, but with a little help, I found those seats.
What is your favorite Chekov character and why?
Oh god, I'm not going to kid myself here. I could go to my bookshelf right now and scour my Chekov collection for inspiration, or arbitrarily say "Nina" or "Irina," but the truth is, I don't have a favorite. I find Chekov's characters tedious and melodramatic. Maybe I relate to the Philistine in Iggy's play a little bit.
What will audiences get for their money by attending BOA this year?
Simply put: an amazing night of entertainment. They'll get their money's worth and then some. They'll get to see the array of talent coming from SF actors, writers, directors and technicians, who produce work with little to no budget. And they will be humbled and awed.
BAY AREA ONE ACTS plays at the Tides Theatre. 533 Sutter Street in San Francisco. Tickets available for only $20 (cash only) at the door!