Why solo-performance and why “The Kiss”?

So…what’s the driving force behind my choice to do “The Kiss”?

“The Kiss” is a beautifully written story about a Catholic priest’s struggle with an unfulfilled need for intimacy and connection, with cultural and institutional constraints, with loss of innocence and loss of faith. It’s a compelling, engaging tale in which a man tries to understand how it is that he arrived at the point of leaving the culture that he believed in through a transgression which is entirely human but which he was unprepared for. It’s a gorgeous piece of work.

As an artist, I’ve been looking for a chance to connect with an audience on my own, saying something important, and going out on a creative edge that comes from the true, honest, real in-the-moment self. So, that’s the #1 reason—being in-the-moment fully present: that’s the key to solo-performance and I’ve wanted to explore that more for years and years. Stripping away all those personal protective/defensive inhibitions and just being present. It’s scary, it’s enlivening, and it has a high degree of risk.

I’ve been writing 2 pieces of my own and working with “The Kiss” gives me a wonderful opportunity to be held by great writing while I flex some acting muscles that I haven’t used while I’ve been working as a writer/director/teacher. The rehearsal and performance informs my own writing. How does this character connect with the audience? What’s important to say; what’s vital and how best to say it? Those are important questions for a writer/performer.

I wanted a touring piece that could pay-my-way across the country and get me back out into life—connecting me with people, creating meaningful conversations, and introducing me to a wider professional world than the little town I got stuck in during the US economic fiasco of 2008—on. I had already directed 3 nationally and internationally touring solo-performances and from the beginning, I always wanted to tour. The after-performance conversations I’ve been a part of with “The Kiss” are priceless. Proof that there are, indeed, hundreds of people out there hungry for meaningful connection—even with strangers!

It isn’t just a job I’m looking for, but a way forward as an artist into a larger sphere of aliveness and vitality. I feel isolated and impoverished where I’m living. This bare-bones tour is doable on a lot of levels. It all feels like a gift and a natural progression of what I’ve been doing for the last decade.

So… that’s a bit about why I’m doing this show.  Check out the “Raves” section to find out more about audience experiences.

If you’d like to bring “The Kiss” to your town, to your theatre, to your living room… send us an email! We’d love to hear from you.


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