Station Two By Marc Gonzalez

Jan 26, 2022 | 2022 Articles, Lorie Lewis Ham, Theatre

by Lorie Lewis Ham

Marc Gonzalez has been a part of the local theatre scene for some time in various different ways—actor, director, choreographer, theatre reviewer, and now playwright. Recently, he presented a staged reading of his latest play Station Two and I was honored to be present. Despite the current Covid protocols that had the entire cast wearing masks, the heart and story of the play came through, and I look forward to the day when Marc produces a full production of this show. We took a moment to chat with Marc recently about Station Two and to share a little of his background for those of you who might not be familiar with his work.

KRL: How long have you been involved in theatre and in what ways?

Marc: I have been involved in theatre since I was a Junior in high school (2004). I have primarily been an actor, but I have directed, choreographed, and am now writing plays. Since 2009, I have been writing a reviewing blog, The Road to 1,000 and since 2017, I have been a reviewing member of the San Francisco Bay Area Critics Circle.

KRL: When did you write your first play and what inspired you to write one?

Marc: My first play, Merely a Player, debuted at the 2020 Rogue Festival, and it took me about two years to write. I was inspired because some of the best solo shows I have seen have been at Rogue, and I felt I could find my own voice by modeling it off of some of the best plays I had seen.

KRL: Was it a difficult process to learn how to write a play?

Marc: Yes, because I love routine and rubrics (I know, nerd alert!). When writing my own play, I am creating the rules, from structure to format to word choice to deadlines, etc. Having it be so open-ended actually hindered my overall motivation at times. But knowing I had the Rogue as a deadline, that helped me pace my edits and learning the show as an actor for the first play.

KRL: How many have you written?

Marc: Station Two serves as my second play, and is my first full-length play. I am working on a few one-acts next.

KRL: What inspired you to write this new play, and where did the idea come from?

Marc: This play originated from my experience in the fire academy being a formative experience, but also a lacking one. When I binged the podcast, California Burning, I learned things about fire history that I hadn’t learned in the academy, and that set off my inspiration for this play.

KRL: Can you tell us a little more about your time in the fire academy?

Marc: I was in the fire academy in 2012, and I did not complete the program. I actually left because I was “politely dismissed” from the academy. The fire chief brought me in and expressed his observation that I may be better suited for another profession, teaching being one of them. And now I’m a teacher, so I guess he wasn’t wrong.

KRL: When did you first start writing Station Two and what has the process been like?

Marc: I began writing it in April 2020, right when quarantine began. It has been a growing process because I originally thought it would be a two-person one-act, but now there are about 10-11 characters, two acts, and a whole fictional town I’ve created. It’s been thrilling!

KRL: Can you tell us the basic premise of the story?

Marc: It’s 2020, Clyde and Camille are firefighters at Station Two, one of two fire stations in the town of Rippington. There is a protest against the spending and recklessness of the station and how it’s run, but Clyde and Camille find themselves on opposite sides of the issues. Clyde then goes back to his ninth birthday where he truly fell in love with firefighting, allowing the audience to see why he loves it so much, and who his influences were along the way.

KRL: Was the character of Clyde and/or his struggles with a disability inspired by a real person?

Marc: Clyde’s journey is inspired by mine in terms of facing barriers with career passions and experience in the academy, but the speech impediment is not inspired by anyone I personally know.

KRL: Are any of the other characters or their stories based on real people?

Marc: Robert and Clara (the older Diner couple) are inspired by my mother’s-side grandparents, if their volume was turned up. Camille is based on some female firefighters I knew in the academy, and the whole Diner staff are inspired by servers and cooks I knew when I was a server at a beach side Tap Room back in the Bay Area. Lastly, Jack is inspired by how my dad raised me.

KRL: What do you want the audience to take away from the story?

Marc: I want the audience to see themselves in the characters. There are characters who want change, and others who love business as usual. While we all like to think we’re open-minded people who are open to change, not all of us are. Sometimes it takes us listening to someone we didn’t think could teach us something to have a gut-check moment. Other times, we may be that very person who has to do the convincing.

KRL: Do you have a time frame for when you hope to be able to put on a full production and will you be doing it yourself, or do you hope to interest a local theatre company?

Marc: I am going to be editing some scenes based on the response I heard and felt from the staged reading, and then will send it out to a few local and Central Valley-based theatre companies to see if they are interested in producing it in a future season or to get their feedback for further drafts.

I look forward to seeing Marc’s play produced in the future! Stay tuned here for more information when the time comes!

If you love local theatre, be sure to check out Mysteryrat’s Maze Podcast, which features mysteries read by local actors. You can find the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play, and also on podbean.

Check out more theatre reviews & other local entertainment articles in our Arts & Entertainment section.

Lorie Lewis Ham is our Editor-in-Chief and a contributor to various sections, coupling her journalism experience with her connection to the literary and entertainment worlds. Explore Lorie’s mystery writing at Mysteryrat’s Closet. Lorie’s latest mystery novel, One of Us, is set in the Tower District of Fresno and the world of community theatre!


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