Monday, March 28, 2016

Spotlight On...John Foster

Name: Dr. John Shévin Foster

Hometown: Norfolk, VA

Education: BA in Theatre & Education, MA in Ed Theatre, Phd in Theatre. And I am an August Wilson scholar.

Favorite Credits: Seeing my play Plenty of Time on 42nd Street. Producing at BAM/Brooklyn Academy of Music for 9 years.

Why theater?: It’s the only medium I ever wanted to do. I love the energy shared between artists and the audience - there's something truthful about it.

Tell us about Flip-in: Well here’s the description: “What happens when down south, back woods, magic hits a young NYC couple? In this urban Hip-Hop comedy lovers caught in a spell must take on the themes of love, sex, and, “what it is like for a woman to live in a world designed specifically for men.”” Anything else I want to save for the audience. Smile.

What inspired you to write Flip-in?: I wanted to write a short, light, fun play and I’d had the initial idea, the impetus of the play, for a while. I didn’t expect the characters to take me where they did but sometimes they let you know they have something more, something important, to say.

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: Theatre that comes from my community, which is Black theatre. I’m inspired to create works for artists of color that allow them to stretch beyond the typical roles and subject they/we are afforded --everything from creating pure art to speaking to human, social issues. I focus on accurate portrayals of contemporary African-American life.

If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: Phylicia Rashad

What show have you recommended to your friends?: In this festival? Mine! Otherwise Dominique Morriseau's Skeleton Crew at the Atlantic Theatre.

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: I had to ask my friends this and they said, Terrence Howard, Jessee Williams or Brian Stokes-Mitchell. What would it be called? “Searching for Soul.”

If you could go back in time and see any play or musical you missed, what would it be?: LOL! Hamilton at The Public, Raisin, the musical of A Raisin in the Sun.

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: "Hot Now" Krispy Kreme glazed donuts made in-house at a Krispy Kreme down south, like in Virginia or North Carolina!

If you weren’t working in theater, you would be _____.?: a composer/musical director.

What’s up next?: Well now that Flip-in is on its feet for DUTF I plan to submit it for the National Black Theatre Festival. My play Plenty of Time is going up at the Ensemble Studio in Houston in May. I'll be running the BTN/Black Theatre Network National Conference this summer in Chicago - I serve as the VP, and also become National President in August, somewhere in between I've got a short book to finish, and I think I now have the inspiration for my next play. I think that's enough.