Review Fix chats with Child’s Play director Brock Harris Hill, who discusses the production and why it’s such a special piece of theatre to him.
About the Production:
Rising Sun Performance Company & Founding Artistic Director Akia presents the New York City Premiere of Child’s Play by Kevin D. Ferguson; Directed by Brock Harris Hill. Kevin D. Ferguson’s emotional drama, Child’s Play, centers around a traumatized child who has stopped speaking. A therapist now struggles to peel back the layers of mistrust by entering the internal world of this little girl to help her confront the “dragon” that has stolen her voice and now threatens to destroy her. Directed by Brock Harris Hill, known for his work with strong materials and ensemble casts, Child’s Play explores defense mechanisms and manifestations deeply rooted in our subconscious and what it takes to create a road back to reality.
April 13 – 23; The Kraine Theatre; 85 E 4th St @ 2nd Ave; New York City; Tickets: $10-$25 www.risingsunnyc.com
Review Fix: What’s your creative process like?
Hill: Theatre is a team project. My creative process starts with the actors. I have my version of the play and who each of the characters is, but each and every actor has their version as well…my process is basically a conversation with these wonderful artists we’ve gathered to find the best, truest version of the piece.
Review Fix: What makes this [play] different or special?
Hill: To begin, one of the main characters doesn’t talk…but in all seriousness, what make this play different is the subject matter and how it’s tackled. Mental health care in our society still has quite a few stigmas, particularly when portrayed on stage and screen. Mental health is often the punchline of a joke or the scapegoat for the “someone should have done something” storyline. Child’s Play looks at the issue from the point of view of an overworked therapist who wants to help, people like that are the heart of mental health.
Review Fix: What did you learn about yourself through this process?
Hill: Whew, I feel like this is a session with the main character…You learn things with every project, but with this piece, it was more about clarification and reinforcement. My process, in general, has become more defined and recognizable. My need, as an artist, to find the humor in even the most emotional pieces has been a lifeline with this play for myself and the cast. This is some heavy stuff we’re dealing with every rehearsal, it can be easy to get swept up in that, but life always has that bit of light.
Review Fix: How does it feel to be a part of something like this?
Hill: This is why I do theatre. We have a responsibility, and luckily a platform, raise issues that matter. The festival I run, Planet Connections, is founded on this same principle.
Review Fix: What are your ultimate goals for this production and for the future?
Hill: I want to continue this conversation, the one our team started, with our audience. It’s always my hope that what we do can help someone, with this play, maybe a mother will ask the right question, a father will take note of a behavior, a teacher will connect the right dots…
Review Fix: What do you think your audiences will enjoy the most?
Hill: The honesty. Our production is less about impressive sets or spectacle, and more about the people in the story.
Review Fix: What’s next?
Hill: For me, I have a couple of productions in development, but I have the Festivity happening June/July. We have over 40pieces ranging from readings to one acts to full productions all happening down on the Lower East Side at the LETEA and Flamboyan theaters. Then we have our Playwrights for a Cause benefitting the NYCLU in late July. Super busy, but amazing summer ahead!
Patrick Hickey Jr.
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