Jake Kevrick is a young playwright. And with only a handful of plays under his belt, getting his early work to the stage is a challenge he looks forward to taking. Being accepted by a festival is validation that his work is on the right track, and seeing it come to life on stage at a festival is like the icing on the cake. But as he explains in the interview below, Theatre Festivals offer many other advantages over self-producing.
Meet Jake Kevrick, author of his new one-at play, “Two Conceive,” opening next week at the Winterfest 2017 Theatre Festival, formerly the Venus Adonis Theater Festival at the Hudson Guild Theatre on 26th Street on the West side of Manhattan. In this one-on-one interview, we talk about his work, his new play, and the upcoming festival production.
Q ~ Jake, tell us about your play. What is it about and what inspired you to write it?
Jake Kevrick: Two Conceive is about the battle between our age old affiliation with religion vs. the growing advancement of technology. Callum and Scottlund, a gay couple in high society NYC wish to conceive a baby without a woman involved and they find a pair of doctors to help them undergo this new and expensive procedure secretly. However, there are a plethora of risks and decisions involved that could tear the couple apart, destroy the doctor's years of research or even potentially cost someone their life. With a procedure this powerfully delicate, it is pertinent the right decisions are made. So what will it be?
Q ~ What is it about the Winterfest Theatre Festival that motivated you to apply? Did you apply to several festival at once?
Jake Kevrick: When I apply to festivals, I try and only apply to those where I have a large chance of being denied. This way, if I am accepted into a likely competitive and difficult festival, this will in turn, help me push myself to create a play worth a professional NYC production. I was intrigued by the vigor and notoriety of Winterfest as well as the competition. If I learn something new or achieve something I didn't know I had the ability to achieve, I have chosen a great festival for myself and my work thus far in my career.
Q ~ As a short play, how were you matched with the other show playing in conjunction with yours at the festival? Did you have a say in the selection of that other show playing with yours?
Jake Kevrick: This festival accepts a plethora of shows of all different lengths so I don't think there was much to be matched in length rather than content. The festival attempts to produce many different shows of all shapes and sizes with tangible, strong content. Every show is unique in it's own way, there are no underlying themes that connect the shows in the festival. There may be shows of a similar theme but it would be entirely unknown to those accepted.
Q~ Tell us about your writing... are there certain similar themes in all your plays? How is this play different or similar to other work you have written?
Jake Kevrick: I suppose if I think about it, as mentioned before, death and "the other world" sort of make an appearance in multiple works of mine. However, the examination of life here on earth is the driving influence for me when it comes to writing. All of my plays surely encompass a similar aspect that is pertinent to my heart but I would say the overall themes of my plays are usually uniquely different. There is always a greater message embedded in my plays, although, no play of mine has the same message just yet.
Q ~ What do you hope will be the outcome of your play being in this festival? Will your play stay as is or evolve in some way?
Jake Kevrick: This is a fun question because “Two Conceive” was originally written to be a full length play. However, upon multiple workshops and endless re-edits, it eventually sat as is and ended up being complete without the need for a second act. I have received most of what I desired out of this festival thus far. I don't apply for festivals in search of notoriety per se. It would be sensational to win one of the awards offered but as I said above, I look for festivals that are going to push me, my work and help me learn the trade of becoming a working playwright in today's society.
Q ~ What’s next for you after the festival run? As a young playwright, do plan to begin writing another play or instead develop the material you have already written?
Jake Kevrick: I am almost finished with my undergraduate degree in Playwriting and World Drama so I think it would be beyond marvelous to attend grad school for the same subject. However, if that is not in the books, I plan to keep writing. I plan to continue studying our planet. I plan to continue actively standing up for and writing what I believe in. Most of all, I plan to give something back with my writing. It can be on a grand scale or it can be entirely minuscule but whatever my next step is, I know it will be a step toward giving something tangible back to the world I love so dearly.
Q ~ You are not based in NYC. Logistically, how did you work out the castling, rehearsals and actual production of the show prior to going on stage?
Jake Kevrick: It isn't easy. Luckily, I know a few actors, directors and technicians in the New York area so it is becoming increasingly easier to find a director, cast the shows and rehearse. When casting I often use websites like Backstage.com to find the actors. When looking for directors I approach it a bit more organically. I believe everything happens for a reason so I tend to spread the word around to those I know in the theatre world and wait until I come across a director that fits with the project. It's proven very successful! Once I have a director I can trust, they have my full trust. I take care of everything logistically and they take care of the rest. I have a very open communication style with the entire team. When it comes to finding rehearsal spaces, places like Cap21 and Shetler Studios make rehearsing affordable and easy to book online.
“Two Conceive” by Jake Kevrick and directed by James Kolditz opens January 5th for 3 Performances: Thursday, January 5, 2107 @ 9:00pm Saturday, January 7, 2017 @ 3:30pm Sunday, January 8, 2017 @ 6:00pm (Approximate running time 35 minutes*)
*This event will be followed by a second show "Emerson at Bigmart" (approximate running time 40 minutes) . Purchasing a tickets will allow you to see both shows in the same slot one after the other.
To buy tickets ~ CLICK HERE