This Monday’s Bare Essentials Play Reading is Water Boyz by Kwik Jones. Read on to learn a little more about the playwright and the play we’ll be seeing on Monday!
Kwik Jones has been writing plays for thirty years. A theater major at Goddard College, Kwik’s passion started in acting and quickly turned into playwrighting due to his love of storytelling. Kwik has developed plays such as: A Strange Seed, Forgotten Soul, Voices, Black Like Me, Jupiter is Stormy, Puzzle Dream, Memphis Bound, Water Boyz, A Cup of Life, and many more.
A three-time finalist in the Downtown Urban Arts Festival in New York for his play, A Cup of Life, Memphis Bound, and Water Boyz. And a two-time semifinalist in the National Playwrighting Conference for his plays, A Cup of Life and A Strange Seed. A semifinalist for the Jewish Plays Project in New York City for his play, Paper Listens. And co-winner of the Texas State University Black and Latino Play Conference for his play his A Cup of Life.
Currently he’s commissioned by Collective Consciousness, in New Haven, Connecticut, to write a BIPOC Superhero play.
ET: Hi Kwik, what can you tell us about the play we’ll be hearing Monday night?
KJ: Talking to a few folks, I knew this was a story that needed to be told. There were and are misconceptions about the young men selling waters. And I thought that maybe this play could be a vehicle and voice for a lot of the kids that are mischaracterized and misunderstood.
ET: Where did you get the idea for this play? What made you want to write it?
KJ: When God gives me a story to tell he’ll do everything in his power to show me want he wants me to write about. Being new to Georgia I had been seeing articles and news reports throughout the day that I didn’t pay attention to. So, God woke me up when I almost hit a young water boy who jumped in front of my car to sell me a water. I slammed on my breaks, shook my head no. As walked off, I turned to the direction he was walking towards and seen a corner full of kids slangin’ waters. The rest is on paper.
I write whatever God tells me to write. If he gives me a story, I sit and write. And once he opened my eyes to the Water Boyz, I was on it.
ET: How did you get into playwriting?
KJ: God blessed me with the grift of writing. That gift was recognized by my third-grade teacher Sister Margert. Every other night I would sit on my bed and write a script of one of my favorite television programs. The next day, I would beg Sister Margret to let me perform the script. She never turned me down. She always allotted me time to perform with a few classmates to perform whatever show I had written the night before.
Little did I know, Sister Margret was watering my creative seed and investing in my future. My gift of storytelling would have rotted without the support and vision of one Nun, who could see me before I could see myself. So when you ask, when did I start writing plays? in the third grade.
ET: What is the importance of staged readings in your own creative process and the creative development of your play?
KJ: Stage readings are key for me because they help me hear and see the story. I can sit and listen and learn. I can see if there is a scene missing or should a scene be cut or shortened. I’ll find out if the play’s pacing is off in certain moments or scenes. I can hear the characters live through the actors. hear if character’s relationships are ringing true. And most important, I get to hear whose play it is. So, a stage reading is so valuable to me.
ET: What do you hope to gain from this Bare Essentials experience?
KJ: Exposure for this great play. I’m hoping this is the next step at finding people who want to get behind this piece and get it produced.
ET: What has your experience with this reading been thus far?
KJ: My experience with this reading has been nothing but first class. The director Damion Lockhart has been nothing but spectacular. The actors, David Wilkerson, Will Oliver, Kyrun Kristin-Smith, Brian Ashton Smith, and our narrator the voice of God Tony Fox, give this story so much life so much character. I’ve heard the play read before, but this is the first time I’ve heard the play. Bravo Gents.
ET: Where else can we see your work? How can we keep up with you?
KJ: You can go to my website and read sample scripts. See production photos. And click on the youtube tabs to watch some clips of past shows. https://solojones19778.wixsite.com/kwikjones
The Water Boyz, by Kwik Jones, will take place at 7:30 on Monday August 14 at 7Stages Theatre. Reserve your free ticket at EssentialTheatre.Tix.com!