Review Fix Exclusive: Alisha Espinosa Talks ‘A Crisis Called New York’
Performance Dates / Location: Kraine Theater, 85 E 54th Street, NYC
Feb 15 @ 5:30 pm; Feb 19 @ 3:30 pm; Feb 22 @ 7:10 pm; Feb 27 @ 8:50 pm; Mar 3 @ 6:50 pm
Review Fix: What’s your creative process like?
Alisha Espinosa: I’m an actor first and foremost so my creative process begins with an idea that I would like to play with and in. I like to create work that other actors would find fascinating and challenging. Something I probably shouldn’t admit about my creative process is that it’s completely cathartic. In her book of essays 100 Essays I Don’t Have Time to Write, Sarah Ruhl talks about her desire to take a timeout from her life so she can write, but ultimately realizing that it is her life, living fully in her life, that creates the conditions for her to write. I feel very similarly. My life is my inspiration and my guide.
Review Fix: What makes this different or special?
Espinosa: What I think is unique about this collection is its care for the issues facing twenty-somethings in New York City. As an actor, I rarely come across a play that treats characters between the ages of twenty and twenty-nine as real people with legitimate issues. The panic, identity-crisis, and chaos of living in New York as an emerging “adult” are growing pains that probably everyone has either gone through or is going through. That’s at the heart of this collection, and what makes it special is that I’m treating that transition with respect and spectacle and truth.
Review Fix: What did you learn about yourself through this process?
Espinosa: My favorite part about working in the theater is learning once again how beautiful and terrible it is to be human, but also learning that we’re not alone in that. My collaborators, Ben and the actors bringing this work to life, are so generous and perceptive. They help me learn that we’re in this together. It’s a blessing to see my work produced and to present it at the Frigid Festival. Step1 has embraced me as an artist with open arms, and it feels wonderful to have the opportunity to debut my work to the Indie Theater community. I hope they dig me as much as Janelle and Jazmyn do.
Review Fix: What are your ultimate goals for this production and for the future?
Espinosa: My goals for this production are to have a great show, and use this great collaboration to refine the plays. My larger goals aren’t very different from anyone else’s: make art, give visibility to the Afro-Latinx community, be awesome, smash the patriarchy.
Review Fix: What do you think your audiences will enjoy the most?
Espinosa: I think audiences will most enjoy the variety. Each play has its own unique set of rules regarding structure, realism, and magic. I think it’s a bit of a roller coaster in the best way.
Review Fix: What’s next?
Espinosa: I’m currently collaborating on a new webseries called F%#kboys: The End with my friend and colleague Nilan Johnson. I have two full length plays in development that I hope to workshop soon. As an actor, I’m going to be performing at the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival in several plays.