by Glenn Proud, Artistic Director of LiveWire Chicago Theatre
I cannot be more excited by the development process of Lower Debt. I’m to the point where I feel almost spoiled by having so many intelligent and thoughtful artists working together that I want it to become a LiveWire Chicago Theatre norm when it comes to the development of our new works. This is exactly what I want out of a theatre experience, a group of like-minded artists gathering together and ripping a story apart, exposing relationships and turning over every rock of the human condition. I learn more and more from these individuals everyday.
Josh has provided us with a truly engaging story and script that lends itself to discussion and debate where there is no right or wrong. It’s amazing to see everyone get so passionate about the characters they are playing to the point they are actually starting to get aggressive when their motives are being questioned within the play. We all have so much at stake already within the confines of the story that no one is allowing himself or herself to take any shit from anyone.
I was asked to play Damon for the Incubator Series of Lower Debt, and he has had several incarnations since the first script. I have always been fond of the character Damon. In the beginning, he was a dark and imposing figure in the story, someone you instantly didn’t trust. But in this latest draft of the script that Josh provided us to workshop he is a man just trying to work out his shit just like the rest of them in this tent city.
I found it quite easy to identify with Damon, he’s not the smartest or fastest in the bunch, but he has heart. He is a man that is misunderstood, his quietness can be taken for intimidation or arrogance but what lurks inside is an individual that yearns to be accepted and understood. Damon’s drive is to do some good for people in order of feel important. If there is something important to do for someone it gives him a reason to get out of bed in the morning to start the hellish cycle of life all over again day in and day out. We have had few readings of the story Josh has been working on since this past spring and I have read other characters during the Lower Debt development and I look forward to continuing my exploration of this quiet and tortured soul.