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May 2005


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L O S  A N G E L E S  -  Interview - Ian Kitz  (The Playground)


In Maestro’s quest to spotlight individuals who are not only dream chasers, but dream makers - Ian Kitz is juggling the dual roles of producing and acting in the production of THE PLAYGROUND, currently residing at the Hudson Main Stage through May 28, 2005. THE PLAYGROUND, inspired by true events, tells the stories of runaways in Hollywood. These stories are gritty, daring, and sadly realistic. Everyday while people are turning dreams into realities, there is another side of society where the harshest of life threatens the human spirit. Mr. Kitz graciously gave a few moments to share with Maestro Arts & Reviews correspondent Adrian Rennie for an interview regarding THE PLAYGROUND and an individual whose creative journey has only begun.

Adrian :  Hello Ian, thanks for taking some time out. You're producing/acting in the production of the PLAYGROUND at the Hudson. How did you become involved with the project?

Ian Kitz :  I have been producing theatre with Michael Justen since 1996.  In 1999, we continued on the same path in NYC and things were going well for the first two years. But after 2001 September 11th, we stopped making money and times got tough and we were evicted from our apartment we could’ve gone home, but we were determined to continue achieving some goals.... we couldn't get jobs, sometimes had to steal food and started questioning how far we might go to survive. Basically questioning what we would do for money, because working at certain bars we saw guys getting picked up and other guys making offers we started seeing and hearing these stories and Michael felt they needed to have a voice to be told. He started collecting material from personal interviews and documentaries, books and films etc...Fortunately we didn't have to go through with anything [as the characters in the play] but we were living in a small one room apartment and living the tough life. It was definitely life changing and as the material was collected Michael started taking the facts and turning them into characters. Since then the script has gone through hundreds of changes. Even since last September when we produced at the Complex, the script has almost been cut in half.
Adrian :  How has this ride been for you?
Ian Kitz :  It has been a lot of ups and downs - headaches and heartaches, but the project and me as a person wouldn't be the same without the struggles.  It sounds cliché but if it don't kill you it makes you stronger. And Michael has been amazing in bringing these stories to life.
Adrian :  Tell us about the character you are portraying.

Ian Kitz :  I am portraying Andrew Stone, a kid who has been in and out of foster care and has lived on the streets for several years, following concert tours or living in squats and just surviving through the hustle, not as a prostitute but selling or stealing and hustling. He has gotten addicted to the life style and the drugs and sometimes people can't escape or have no where to escape to. "It sucks you in..."
Adrian :  Sounds like a meaty character. Why is this show such an important vehicle for you?  In reference to the Greenwich Group.
Ian Kitz :  I think it gives an insight into individuals' stories who live on the streets as opposed to homelessness as a whole.  It asks the audience to think a little about the person before they are so quick to judge.
Adrian :  Awesome. Tell us about the Greenwich Group.
Ian Kitz :  The Greenwich Group was formerly Curtain Call Productions outside of Boston and in NYC. When we arrived last January, we joined up with Michelle Kaufer and began producing here in LA. Same as before we are really focused on shocking edgy material that has the ability to teach and maybe even make a difference.  We always put a modern twist on classic shows, but in this case are lucky enough to be working on an original piece which is always the ideal...
Adrian :  So this is what you want to do with your life? Producing. Acting.

Ian Kitz :  I love being in front of an audience, I just feel comfortable that way.....I love telling stories and sometimes impacting people....And I want to be able to affect society and hopefully make a change.....Producing is a love hate relationship but being able to put together your own projects is much better than waiting to be put in someone else's..... I am lucky that I have had the experience and now the knowledge to continue working and not having to wait.
Adrian :  Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Ian Kitz : In five years, I hope to working in film or on television, whether it is making people laugh or think. I like it all....But I will always have theatre and that will live in me forever....
Adrian :  I haven't found one person who's done theater and escaped it yet. Haha. It sorta stays with you forever.

Ian Kitz :  Hopefully acting will enable me to try and explore other fields- human and society related.

Adrian :  What advice or words of wisdom could you offer our readers or others here pursuing their dreams ?

Ian Kitz :  Hard work pays off.....not necessarily financially but it is always rewarding inside....Nothing comes easy- at least not for most of us but if you really go after something the universe will respond- so take risks- you've got nothing to lose.  And come see "THE PLAYGROUND" Haha
Adrian :  *smile* I do hope the readers do check out the PLAYGROUND.  Ian, thanks again for taking time out.  I wish you all the best in your endeavors and hope the PLAYGROUND does have impact on its audience as intended.
Ian Kitz :  My pleasure, thank you for your help - without all of the volunteers, projects like this one would not be possible.  Printable View


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Adrian Rennie, staff writer and editor for Maestro Arts & Reviews, is an actor and Los Angeles area playwright. Having received great reviews for his plays, The Seven Lessons of Life and Only a Phone Call Away, he continues to write and act in Los Angeles Theater, Television and Film. 




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