Thursday, May 29, 2014

Spotlight On...Dean Haspiel

Name: Dean Haspiel

Hometown: Manhattan, NY cum Brooklyn!

Education: Music & Art cum La Guardia High School. SUNY Purchase.

Favorite Credits: Billy Dogma, The Fox, The Quitter, American Splendor, The Alcoholic, Cuba: My Revolution, HBO's "Bored To Death"

Why theater?: This is my first foray into theater but I've always loved the stage. The raw immediacy of live action and reaction is unparalleled. I'm a fan of William Shakespeare, David Mamet, Harold Pinter, David Rabe, Tennessee Williams, Arthur Miller, Edward Albee, and Tracy Letts.

Tell us about Switch to Kill: In a world where no one knows anyone’s true identity, professional hit men, Dallas Twilite and Buck Dangerzone, engage in a psychological duel that triggers cold–blooded acts of murder. Through a series of harried gun play and emotional tests, a trust is reinstated and ghosts are lifted from the psyche of grief-stricken killers.

What inspired you to write Switch to Kill?:
I wrote Switch to Kill approximately 25-years ago when I was attempting to write my first screenplay. I believe I'd just seen Mike Nichols' adaptation of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and Quentin Tarantino's "Reservoir Dogs" and the combination spooked me into writing a story about two hit men who engage in an emotionally arrested word game that triggers murder while confronting the power of a deep, dark secret. I was inspired to dust off Switch to Kill when I had a conversation with playwright Crystal Skillman who alerted me to the Comic Book Festival at The Brick. Skillman recommended me to organizer Jeff Lewonczyk who liked my play enough to secure director Ian W. Hill's interest in directing and producing it.

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: I love classic productions of betrayal and heartbreak, unrequited love made manifest and good old fashioned revenge, but nothing has yet to beat Rev Jen's Anti-slam. Rev Jen hosts a broken fun house mirror of humanity that skates the abstract equator of the the honest and the absurd. Wrong never felt so right.
If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: I've always been a fan of actor Eric Roberts. I'd kill to write something for him that would get him performing like he did in "The Pope of Greenwich Village" and "Runaway Train." I'd also like to write a galactic Frankenstein story starring Michael Shannon.

What show have you recommended to your friends?: I'm ashamed to admit that I haven't seen nearly as much theater as I would like to. The art table keeps me chained. The last show I recommended was a stage musical called Forever Dusty, starring Kirsten Holly Smith and co-written by Jonathan Vankin. It was amazing. I hope to see a bunch of shows at The Comic Book Festival.

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: Martin Lawrence would play me and the movie would be called "Post-Disaster Adventure Chronicles."

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: Entenmann's Thick Fudge Iced Golden Cake

What’s the most played song on your iTunes?: "Backseat Freestyle" by Kendrick Lamar

If you weren’t working in theater, you would be _____?: Making movies. I have a screenplay called "The Big Red Mess", which is an expanded version of Switch to Kill that also tells the story of "Luke Tuna," a character that is only spoken about in hushed yet revered tones in the Brick version of STK directed and designed by Ian W. Hill.

What’s up next?: Besides writing a novel and other plays, I'm currently drawing some of the interior art for Marvel Comics' The Fantastic Four, and writing/drawing a second The Fox mini-series for Archie/Red Circle Comics debuting around Xmas time. My graphic novel Fear My Dear: A Billy Dogma Experience (published by Z2) will be available mid-June, and I'm curating/hosting a monthly psychotronic salon at Union Hall called Enter to Win, starting June 21st:

For more on Dean, visit