OuterStage presents OUT-Words: Following the Fresh Fruit Festival’s 15th Anniversary featuring Nelson Diaz-Marcano

Louis Lopardi has spent a decade and a half bringing high-quality work to one of the better off-off Broadway houses. He, along with All Out Arts, celebrate – through the lively arts – what it means to be LGBTQ in NYC! 

This year, the chorus of brilliance is well-worth discussion. OuterStage will speak with some of the featured authors at this year’s festival. All performances take place at the air-conditioned Wild Project, 195 E. 3rd St. (btwn Avenues A & B) in the East Village. Tickets to all productions are $18 at web.ovationtix.com/trs/cal/527.

Nelson Diaz-Marcano may have a baby-face but it covers a brilliant sense of timing and deep understanding of thew world we live in. As an astute reviewer and popular author, Diaz-Marcano looks at possibly one of the most life-changing events of this [new] century from a very intimate point of view. 

THE DIPLOMATS

THREE FRIENDS … TWO DAYS BEFORE ONE NEW REALITY

WRITTEN BY NELSON DIAZ-MARCANO

DIRECTED BY BLAYZE TEICHER

FEATURING ANNIE: RICKI LYNÉE, CARLOS ANGULO, AND CHRISTOPHER CALLAHAN

PRODUCED BY STRIKE 38!

Performance schedule: Wednesday, July 12 at 7:00 pm; Saturday, July 15 4 at 2:30 pm; Sunday, July 16 at 6PM

November 2016 seems sooo long ago. Annie was thrilled to see her dear friend, Carlos, during his  first visit back to NYC since moving to Florida… and he hasn’t changed a bit! But he brought Gary with him … Annie’s estranged friend. It can only take one person to change world events – but at this reunion two days before the 2016 Presidential election – it’s world events that do the changing.

Don’t take our word for it. Greg Burdick said Diaz-Marcano’s play has “memorable characters, and fun dialogue;” while Matthew Weaver let us know that its “a very timely play that will spark very timely discussions.”

But don’t take their word for it… let’s hear what Nelson has to say:

What inspires you as an artist?

13438862_10102091411311924_1610123201286350242_nSo many things. Honestly I couldn’t pinpoint one. What inspired me when I began as an artist is not what drives me as an artist today and I think that’s one of the best things about being one. It’s the fact that each step brings a new wonder ready to be explored! To set your artistic life on one condition is to deprive yourself of many sensations in life.  And what is better inspiration than a life full of uncertainties?

The main thing that drives me as an artist is the representation of ethnicity in America. To dig deep into society, to create awareness about the history of those that live on the fringes of America and investigate their place in this civilization. Akira Kurosawa said it best: “The Role of an Artist is to not look away.” If I have to choose one thing that inspires me as an artist, it’s that by not looking away I have the power to know their stories. And knowing their stories is the first step to being able to tell them.

Why independent theater?

There’s a certain magic to a bunch of people in love with the same medium getting together and deciding to create work no matter what. Indie theater is full of those people unwilling to give up when things are too expensive or the hustle gets too hard. This is where people work for passion, not money. Now, this is not to say Indie theater is a safe haven. It’s rough, some work is really low quality. Most people use their funds to be able to afford a dream that seems impossible to reach and in the process go broke since  money is indeed essential to the productions. It’s these high stakes, this love for your work, that makes independent theater so powerful. When it works, it’s amazing to see what people can do when they come together and produce quality.

OK, let’s dish… as a reviewer as well as playwright… what does the world of independent theater look like to you.

It looks healthy but in trouble. With arts being defunded and theater in the crosshairs of political games, the independent world is taking a hit. Accessible theaters are either closing or having to charge way more than people can afford. Big festivals like The Fringe are taking breaks. People are having to work two jobs just to try and get a production up. But… it hasn’t hurt the quality of shows. To watch independent theater is to watch soldiers marching on despite everyone shooting at them. In the past month alone I’ve seen two productions that should have bigger stages and one that has the potential to be a great production one day. You have companies like Mind The Arts Entertainment and The Tank creating amazing work yearly!

Give us a battle cry commander.

The first line of attack and the last line of defense for theater is the independent scene.

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