A NoHo Arts theater interview with “Sins” writer and director William Thompson on stage at this year’s Hollywood Fringe Festival.
I was lucky enough to see “Sins” at the Hollywood Fringe Festival a couple of years ago, before the world went to pot. I loved it !! Such a brilliant and weirdly wonderful play. You can see my review of it here: https://nohoartsdistrict.com/sins/
We thought we would find out more about the show, the why and the what, so we asked the writer, director and star, William S Thompson, to tell us what he can… without giving too much away !! I hope you see this show !!
How did you come up with the story idea for this show?
I was in London, watching a show that wasn’t emotionally filling at all for me. I had an impulse I didn’t know what to do with, but I knew there was something creative I wanted to do with it later. I went to see a different show and it became clear to me that I wanted to discuss the conflict between doing everything in your power to create but also the desire for that creation to be good… and whatever that means.
The show feels very purposeful, how important was that to the concept?
I set out to share as much of myself as possible, both my inner conflicts as an artist and my history as a human being. I wrote the show in 2 hours and I didn’t have time to think about anything other than what was happening next, which allowed me to discover it for myself as I wrote.
Casting is always crucial, how did you cast this show?
A few of the roles were offered to actors I have worked with previously, and the others came to us through a general casting call via Actors Access. A lot of insanely talented people auditioned for us, and we ended up with an amazing cast who are immensely talented and work very hard.
“Sins” is cleverly keeping its premise secret, how hard is that to do while still trying to get people to see it?
It’s a double-edged sword, there’s something about not being able to tell someone anything about a show that piques their curiosity. Sometimes, that will generate enough interest for them to come see it. Other times, people want to make sure that what they spend their precious time on is something they’re going to enjoy, so the secretive nature of the show acts against it in that case.
Why a fringe show?
Whenever I create a new work I’m very cognisant of the framework that it fits into. When I finished Sins, I sat down to reread it, and about halfway through I realized it fits inside the framework of a fringe show perfectly. Small cast, very few props, no costume changes, and an hour long. I didn’t set out to write a fringe show but once I’d written Sins I realized I had.
Any advice for anyone thinking of creating their own show.
Just do it. Don’t let any doubt or insecurity or worry that it might not be good stop you from creating. Create first, worry about if it’s any good much, much later.
Tell me why audiences should come to Sins
As a team, we’ve talked a lot about the emotional experience for theatergoers. We do everything in our power to ensure an audience member will have some level of engagement with the play. I think that theater at its best takes us on an emotional journey that we wouldn’t normally have access to, and that’s what we strive to do with Sins.
Thank you William. It’s always fascinating for find out more about how a show was created, I think an audience can only get more out of a play when they know more about the creatives behind it.
Friday, June 24 at 9:30 PM
Saturday, June 25 at 7:30 PM
The Broadwater Theater
6320 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles