Max Begins!

36923507_673759209633640_7607481310034001920_n.jpgReliving old memories and defining moments in a Treehouse of Dreams. Max Berry’s parable of friendship and confronting powerful feelings premieres as part of NYWinterFest (Hudson Guild Theater, 441 W 26th St, New York City on January 7 @ 6:15pm; January 11 @ 9pm; January 13 @ 3:30pm)

Taking his career in his hands, emerging playwright, Max Berry walks both sides of the street. One moment he’s a reviewer for OnStageBlog roaming NYC for some great works, the next, he’s writing great works of his own.

His current play, Treehouse of Dreams is the story of three best friends, Winnie, Scout, and Mark as they navigate grief, loss, and drastic change at the cusp of young adulthood.

We’re thrilled to grab Max and hear his thoughts as his career begins its great rise.

Playwright and reviewer – what are the pros and cons? For instance, Doug DeVita, a playwright/reviewer for 20 years once said “Kharma bites me in the ass regularly.”

A HUGE pro, is that through these reviews I am able to meet fellow playwrights and artists and really get a sense at  how generous, creative, and kind this community is. I also think that sometimes, being in Manhattan, you start to get surrounded by all of the big Broadway shows  and you feel that you have to write something of that scale or subject matter to be “important”. With reviewing these incredible off-off broadway shows, I’m reminded that there are little gems of theatre everywhere and that everyone is important and a show that I write is just as capable of moving someone as a show that just opened on Broadway.

The con is, that despite all of these wonderful relationships I’m building, I still have to be honest in my review. That can get awkward sometimes.

Yup, That’s what Doug undoubtedly meant. Now this play of yours seems to imply your own reality – an experience or even autobiographical – can you elaborate?

I certainly have never had any sort of situation as tragic as what Winsten and Scout go through in the play, but I think where I see myself, is in the idea that life isn’t a “story.” In many other stories similar to “Treehouse” the happy ending would be the main character finally getting together with the girl they have loved their whole life. In “Treehouse”, that is the first scene and the rest of the play is the fallout from that decision. I’ve had to learn that life isn’t a story many times. I think as a writer and a reader I am especially vulnerable to that mindset because I surround myself with stories that wrap up in perfect little bows, everyday. This idea frequently finds its way into my work and it’s one of the things I most enjoy writing about.

In light of that, what have you learned about yourself as a person from your plays.

I’ve definitely learned that I don’t believe in the permanent happy ending. Now, whenever I watch a movie where the central goal is for the high school boy to win the high school girl, at the end I find myself thinking “Well, they’re going to break up”. I’m not saying that happy endings don’t exist at all, I’m simply saying that I’ve learned that one needs to be prepared for the moments after the happy ending, because the happy ending to one story is just the beginning to another.

I think, this has made me prepared to deal with tough times because I know, just like the happy ending, that they are temporary, and just like the happy ending, I will get through them.

47574255_778200945856132_2365120794918387712_o.jpgGive us your thoughts on indie theater and if you want to go commercial at some point.

I think indie theatre is an incredible way for someone to just express whatever they are burning to express. In a lot of ways, theatre is about taking the abstract scream of thought and emotion and translating that into something that can be performed. Indie theatre is an incredible way to do that. Though, I think theatre in any capacity takes a part in that, indie or commercial. Personally, as long as new thoughts, ideas,and stories are being expressed I don’t care what theater I’m sitting in. I can’t speak for certain, where I’m heading, but as long as I am capable of creating the stories that I am on fire for, I’ll be happy.

What’s Next

I am continuing to play with various flawed relationships and have several scripts in the works that explore these ideas in ways similar and different than “Treehouse”.

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