"Call Me Adam" chats with actor and playwright David A. Gill about his new show Providence playing at the Roy Arias Stage IV in NYC (300 West 43rd Street, between 8th & 9th Avenue) through October 26. Providence is about a group of misfit travelers who find themselves in the wrong place at the right time. Through their confrontations, secrets are revealed, discoveries made, and destinations altered forever. Providence takes a compassionate yet wildly funny look at love, guilt, betrayal, nonsense, and finding your nature, and teaches us that Salvation isn't a place you can arrive by bus. Click here for tickets!
1. From October 9-26, your show, Providence will be playing at the Roy Arias Stage IV theatre in NYC. What excites you about this upcoming run? The whole theater experience excites me, but most of all the actors do! They have such a great creative energy, and I am so happy to be working with them.
2. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing the show? I think the sense that we should never take people at face value, that there is almost always an underlying cause to their behavior, a story that’s hidden away, and that is guiding their actions.
3. What has been the best part about watching this cast bring your work to life even more? For me, it’s that they get it, that they are making all the connections I intended, and then some. They truly are a collection of smart, sensitive, instinctive, and unique talents, and they deserve to be seen – they are magical.
4. Out of all the bus stations in the world, why did you choose to set the show in Providence, RI? What is your connection to the city? I summered on Cape Cod every summer of my life till I was in my mid-Twenties, and traveling to and from, it became apparent that Providence is The Hub of that area. Wherever you’re going, you inevitably have to stop in Providence before heading back out towards your destination. The name is also pretty apt.
5. Since Providence centers around a group of stranded travelers and them ultimately finding salvation, when in your life have you felt stranded and how have you found salvation? When have I not? I think the journey is spotted with periods of feeling stranded, at many different levels of emotional weight, but I think these are the times we learn most about ourselves, and our resilience as human beings. We are adaptive creatures, so when we learn to adapt we grow. So think of being "stranded" as a forced holding pattern for rumination, decision making, and ultimately moving on.
6. What is your favorite part of the creative process in putting a show together? I do love the readings. I do a lot of workshop readings with different sized audiences, where I listen for what works and what doesn't work, and then go back to fine-tuning the piece. It helps to get the voices out of your own head, and into someone else’s voice, to see whether or not the language is true.
7. Who or what inspired you to become a playwright? It would have to be my father who instilled a love of the written word, as well a passion for the theater and film, in me at a pretty early age (whenever I came home from college, he would have a stack of The New York Times Arts & Leisure sections set aside for me). My favorite films are the old ones from the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s where the dialogue is so important – things people said, and the way they said them, were integral. Second, as an actor, I know and understand the stage instinctually – it’s always been the place I’ve felt most at home, so it was the natural evolution for me.
8. Who haven't you worked with that you would like to? Anyone who knows me could answer this question for you. Angela Lansbury. It’s not a joke – look at her career in film, theater, television! There is a reason she is one of the most highly regarded actresses of hers or any other generation. I could go on and on…I do! See the play!
10. What have you learned about yourself from being a playwright? Oh Lord – a lot! They say you should always write from experience, and that is absolutely true, but while doing so, you tend to drudge up past issues and emotions you thought you’d buried away. Then you analyze them to death in order to find something worth sharing, and all that can be a rough ride. What I’ve learned through my writing is to finally deal with these issues, put them in a place of understanding (either comically or dramatically, but hopefully in a unique and interesting way), and eventually find closure.
11. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? To breathe under water. Is that a super power? I’ve always had a fondness for Aquaman.
12. If you could be any original Life Saver flavor, which one would you be? Lime. Love me some lime.
13. How do you want to be remembered? Besides all the fantasy stuff about Tony Awards, and Pulitzer Prizes, I think I would like to be remembered as that playwright who made people laugh out loud, and then cry on a turn; who made people think more profoundly about their own lives, and who really understood the emotional fabric that life is made of. Oh, and a good person.
David is the author of California (one act), and has just completed his second full length play, Experimenting with Katz, which is currently being submitted to various play festivals and theater groups. He is also the co-author of two television pilots with Tony Nation, both of which are being represented by Bohemia Group. As an actor he was last seen on the Gray Wig stage at Hofstra University as "Bobby" in Company, and before that as "Will Parker" in Oklahoma!, and has numerous other local and regional productions to his credit. He originated the title role in the Chicago production of Jeffrey (Transient Theater), as well as "Arthur" in Love, Valour, Compassion (Victory Gardens), and can be heard on the original cast recording of Fairy Tales by Eric Lane Barnes.