Monday, February 24, 2014

"Some of These Daze": The Play About Alzheimer's

"Some of These Daze" written by San Francisco-based playwrights, Vin Zappacosta and Douglass Christensen is about the relationship of a modern family... a mother, her son and his partner. Add Alzheimer's into the mix you have quite rich material for the stage. "Some of These Daze" is based on Vin and Doug's real life experiences as caregivers. Vin's active social media presence, coupled with his snappy, tender blog, "Dementia Mama Drama", has made him a mobilizing voice for caregivers. After living the real drama, Vin and Doug's theater light bulbs went on and they said, "let's write a play."

The two fresh voices behind "Some of These Daze" were nice enough to do a quick interview before Friday's staged reading at LPAC (click here for details).


Q: How did you find out about LPAC?


A: A few years ago, we heard that LPAC was doing two versions of "The Cherry Orchard." We were excited to see the experimental version called "Cherry Orchard Project" and took the subway out. We were impressed with the production and the theatres. We continue to keep them on our Social Media radar. The upcoming "Rough Draft Festival" seems really great.


Q: Is it harder getting a play produced in SF or NY? What is the difference in terms of theater? Obviously we have quality and quantity :)


A: Well, we're still working on getting our play "produced". Our play was at The Fringe Festival in CA and we did all the work! Which is great because we had total control, but we look forward to taking it to the next level and having other creatives involved. As far as SF vs NY, both cities have a lot of opportunities for playwrights. We wouldn't say one is easier than the other if you want to get your work out there, but ya gotta do the work no matter where you are. For us the bar is higher in NY, but then again, we're a little biased. 


Q: "Some of These Daze" is based on your experience as a caregiver for your mother. What prompted you to take this material and create a piece for the stage?


A: It was a case of life imitating art. We started to write about it in a blog as a form of therapy for the three of us dealing with Alzheimer's in our own way. When we started to video and photograph Mama we saw a big difference in her mood, it was theatre! It helped us deal with the nightly visits which were overwhelming. Mama was such a larger than life character to begin with, and we both have a background in theatre, so it seemed like a natural transition to develop our experience into a play. 


Q: I understand you are a writing team. What is the writing process for you? Do you write together or apart?


A: Oh yeah, we're a team alright. We couldn't really do it any other way. We've been together forever and we finish each other sentences... sometimes. We compliment each other because we are so different. Vin gets his ideas at night and often blabbers to Douglass as he's falling asleep. The next day Douglass "massages" the ideas and together we makes sense of it all. It's a good balance - Vin sees things visually and Douglass sees things more linear.


Q: What do you do for fun when you're not creating theater?


A: Is there anything else but theatre? Well, that's one of the reasons why we miss NYC so much because there's an unlimited amount of theatre here. We love to eat and meet friends for drinks at our fav restaurants - they don't close early here! But when we're home we're always working on some kind of project whether it's in our place redesigning or out in the garden - we love that!


Q: What's next for "Some of These Daze" after the reading at LPAC?


A: Of course we're continuing to develop the play! Our goal is for it to "grow up" and mature into a full length 90 minute piece. And actually we just booked another reading coming up on March 21st at The LGBT Center in Manhattan. A lotta work to do, but we're loving every minute of it.


Q: Anything else? 


A: Not really, the play says it all.  We're trying to break down stereotypes about Aging, Alzheimers and Gays... isn't that enough?

1 comment:

sandi said...

Amazing. Yes, I was there when it all started. Visiting Mama with my two little pups in the Convalescent Home in CA and watching the development of Some of These Daze. My two very good friends have been working so hard and growing so fast that I can see this becoming a 90 minute play that reaches out to so many with understanding and humor. Love Mama, Love Doug and Vin and LOVE! SOTD! Sandi, Pinky and Zep

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