PLAYWRITING

Read Steve's plays

on New Play Exchange

ARTIST STATEMENT

As an actor for several decades, I have had the privilege to perform classic works of Shakespeare, Moliere, O’Neil, Inge and Miller and contemporary pieces by Annie Baker and Donald Margulies, to name but a few. Breaking down master works to physically inhabit a character allowed me to further understand the craft of writing and analyze the artist’s working dramaturgy. 

 

So for me, dramaturgy is the heart of successful story-telling, and I utilize that mastery to tap into the zeitgeist with a fearless approach to themes of sexuality, religion and death presented as uncensored truths, exploring uncomfortable qualities of character, story, or theme to penetrate the psyche, using humor as an anesthetic.  Every character contains an aspect of me that flies off the page without judgment, as I will spend hours researching diverse ethnicities as needed to enhance the universal significance of my stories.

“Plot” is a four-letter word in the current playwriting world so I find plenty of conflict and arcs by merely delving deeper into the inherent drama of the characters and situations I create in realms of unique conceit and perspective. The ultimate intention creates socially relevant and interesting narratives, resulting in emotionally provocative theatrical experiences.

 

Much of my current work deals with characters struggling to express their authentic selves - be it artistically, sexually or spiritually - often becoming magical with characters in various states of consciousness. Though I may be considered a ‘late-emerging playwright’ it is only because it took a lifetime to understand the world around me, what made me different, and restore the confidence to share my craft with the world.

AUTOBIOGRAPHY

The most surprising fact about me,  not that I am a playwright, actor, singer, and also an accomplished painter, chef, designer and filmmaker but that I am a late diagnosis ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder). This life-long struggle not only afforded me strong visual and cognitive skills, but also a unique perspective on life, though propagating the relationships to further my interests remains a challenge.

 

Lucid visualizations and complex problem solving are a hallmark ASD characteristic so I first developed 3-D visual skills receiving a bachelor’s degree in architecture from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, where I also took playwriting classes in their famed drama department. An exchange year in Lausanne, Switzerland benefited me becoming fluent in French. 

 

For a year after graduation I studied at George Romero’s Pittsburgh Filmmakers before moving to Los Angeles to work as a film art director. On the coast, I quickly decided to commit to acting, spending three years studying at The Lee Strasberg Institute, which was very helpful in understanding relationships in the ‘real world.’  There, I performed in a workshop production of my first full-length Hey, Picasso! 

Though several companies also performed my first short play Day One, I missed the writing on the wall to become a playwright and hurled myself further into filmmaking, studying screenwriting at Writer’s Boot Camp with founder Jeff Gordon, where I wrote several feature films, including My Guy, Lunch With the Devil and The First Gentleman. As a member of Filmmakers Alliance, I wrote, produced and directed several shorts, most notably Limbo, which screened at the Tiburon, Asheville and New Orleans film festivals.

 

Now back on track focusing on theater in New York since the spring of 2012, I took opportunities to hone my writing skills with director Sam Gold and noted playwrights Will Eno, Annie Baker and Josh Harmon. 

 

My short plays Breeders Cup, Genius and A Year of Mondays were staged through Love Creek Productions. Musical Chairs was read as part of 2014 Chelsea Rep Festival, and the short, Handsome, had a 2015 reading at Casa Beverly. The play tran-si-tions was a semi finalist for the 2014 Vittum Prize for best new play and 2016 Great Gay Play and Musical Festival, both in Chicago. The short, The Glove, was selected as part of Equity Library Theater’s 2017 Playwrights Festival and was published by Art Age Publications the same year.