Witches, Magicians, and Trump: Scary Offerings at The Midtown International Theatre Festival’s Short Play Lab

in-world happyhallo hazelbertDrama-Queens chatted with three of the playwrights part of MITF’s Short Play Lab about their scary offerings: Matt Sanders’ Happy Halloween, Harry Houdini by Matt Sanders, directed by Liana Afuni; starring Eric Leeb and Jesica Levi. On Halloween, two amateur magicians, Wendell and Mimi, meet at Houdini’s grave: will it be trick or treat? Witchhazel by Leonard D. Goodisman, directed by Kristofer Kauff; starring Paige Taylor and Jay Cobian. She says the place is haunted; and then he “knows” it is, very haunted.

And the scariest of them all…

In a World … Where Donald Trump is President by Lisa L. Kirchner, directed by Charles Sanchez; starring Rosa Chapa, Roberto Tolentino, and Jorge Chapa. In A World… Where Donald Trump is President takes place in a so-called camp along TexMex border, where the Residents have just learned the promise of citizenship has been denied.


We hear a lot about inspiration – or Muse – that drives an artist. What inspires you? 

Kirchner: I am inspired by people, places and things every day.

Goodisman: People confronting the world and feeling strong emotions corralled or not corralled by their awareness and understanding of the world.

Sanders: Awe for what words can do.


Tell us about why you wrote this?

Kirchner: There is nothing more important than doing anything I can to point out the kind of world that Donald Trump sees, and what horror it truly would be.

Goodisman: I wrote it to explore how we doubt the supernatural but can’t help believing in it if we can control it. The play will leave the audience wondering about this for themselves and their own experience.

Sanders: The world needs more funny plays about magicians.


What do you want most in your chosen profession? It’s OK to say “fame” or “wealth.” 

Kirchner: I want to see [my play] “Utopia” open on Broadway and tour theater companies across the nation.

Goodisman: My plays to make a difference in the direction theater takes.

Sanders: Wealth.


Sally Field and Paul Newman both said of their profession… “it’s all I can do.” Is this all you can do? 

Kirchner: Yes. And I love it so it’s not really work.

Goodisman: No Never. More to come. This is a step.

Sanders: No, I can also teach, do office work, and wiggle my ears.


Along those lines, if you couldn’t so this, what would you do? 

Kirchner: Well I guess then nothing.

Goodisman: I don’t know.

Sanders: My day job.


How do you want [legit] history to remember you? 

Kirchner: There is no such thing as legit history; that’s my whole point! 😉

Goodisman: As someone who contributed to theater.

Sanders: As a mentsch.


Last words? 

Kirchner: Perfect is the enemy of done.

Goodisman: This play will challenges and entertain and leave a tickle and a thought in people’s minds.

Sanders: I’m glad this is over.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s