Monday, August 15, 2016

Spotlight On...Kevin R. Free

Name: Kevin R. Free

Hometown: Greensboro, NC

Education: Duke University

Favorite Credits: Boys From Syracuse at Baltimore CenterStage, Clybourne Park at Portland Center Stage, DOT at The Humana Festival, Are You Not Entertained? at Bring a Weasel and A Pint of Your Own Blood Festival, FluxForward Playwrights Commission that led me to write my play AM I DEAD?

Why theater?: Why not? I do other things that I love, but theater is my favorite language.

Tell us about Night of the Living N-Word!!: It is a comedy - A slasher comedy - about a family's struggle with that word, even after the word is "buried" by its matriarch.

What inspired you to write Night of the Living N-Word!!?: In 2007, the NAACP buried the N-Word, and I wrote a short play for Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind  that was basically a horror movie trailer. I always knew I wanted to expand that play into a full-length play, but it took me 7 years to figure out what the story of it would be. And when I picked up the script again to submit it to the Fringe, it seemed even more timely.

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?:  I love dangerous theater. I love non-linear storyteling. I am inspired by my former Neo-Futurist colleagues Joey Rizzolo, Rob Neill, and Jacquelyn Landgraf. I am inspired by Bill T. Jones. I am inspired by passionate storytelling, even if it pisses me off, or I don't understand it.

If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?:  There are a number of artists that I'd love to work with again, including all the people involved with my play this summer; Meredith McDonough; Keith Josef Adkins. On my list of people I cannot wait to work with though are Les Waters, Jeff Augustin, MJ Kaufman, Maybe Burke, Lyons & Pakchar, Rose Riordan, Stacey Rose, Kwame Kwei-Armah - and all of the students I have directed or taught who have now become professional theater artists.

What show have you recommended to your friends?: In FringeNYC, I've recommended the following: My White Wife, or So I Married a Black Man, That's MISS FITS, to YOU!, Let the Devil Take the Hindmost, Black and Blue, In the Master's House There are Many Mansions, The Further Adventures Of..., A Microwaved Burrito Filled with E. Coli, The Troubadour Struck By Lightning 

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: The movie would be called "Accordion," because it would be about my ups-and-downs with money, weight, and career. I would be played by several different actors, corresponding to my degree of abundance: Cedric The Entertainer, Anthony Anderson, Larenz Tate, and me, of course.

If you could go back in time and see any play or musical you missed, what would it be?:  RAISIN the musical, starring Joe Morton and Virginia Capers.

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: Watching the first few episodes of NETFLIX TV shows and then not watching the rest of the series. I don't do it on purpose, but it happens that way. Sorry, NETFLIX.

If you weren’t working in theater, you would be _____?: I would probably work in FOOD: Restaurant management, cooking, etc. Or maybe I'd be a life coach. Thank God I work in Theater, though.

What’s up next?: I am going to The Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis to act in a play called The Parchman Hour. In NYC, MyCarl will produce No! I'M the worst, a monthly storytelling competition. A show for terrible people, No I'M the worst features three storytellers telling true stories about times when they were less-than-gracious, more-than-shameless or just-the-right-amount-of-awful. They battle it out in three rounds and the audience decides which horrible person is the worst.