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At the core of Poison Apple with Sean Galuszka

August 4, 2011

Sean Galuszka heard a story from a friend and thought it was an urban legend. A guy goes to visit a friend. The friend’s not home, but the roommate is. They sit and have tea for an hour. Things happen. 

Sean Galuszka and Chris Sams

“I took a lot of artistic license and riffed on my own experience,” says the playwright and actor. “The two characters in Poison Apple represent two parts of one person – light and dark. In this case they shift back and forth so you don’t really know who the bad guy is until about 15 minutes before it’s over.” 

There’s much we can’t openly discuss about Poison Apple without giving away too much. But Galuszka says this is a love story. “These two guys find they’re kind of perfect for each other. They have the right energies but are absolutely in the wrong situation. It does get to the point where it’s either kiss or kill.” 

They’re both survivors, he says. “There’s talk of nature, a Darwinistic sense of survival and learning or re-learning to trust our animal instincts.” 

Galuszka’s childhood was marked by several deaths. The play “goes through every one of my deepest and darkest fears: being trapped in a room, being around horrific violence, falling in love, being open and vulnerable enough to let your guard down to show someone who you really are, hoping they’ll accept you.” 

The play was modeled, Galuszka admits, on the Alfred Hitchcock thriller Psycho. “It’s also an homage to Edgar Allan Poe. There’s still a lot of humor, poking fun at the macabre.” That the play is a love story between two men does not make it a “gay play,” Galuszka says. “It’s a play with two gay characters, a step forward, I think, for gay theater.” 

Gay plays, he believes, tend to have too heavy a hand in preaching to the choir. “Marriage equality, HIV – I’ve never seen a gay play that’s just a great story,” Galuszka says. “Poison Apple is story driven. You don’t hear the word ‘gay’ or ‘homosexual’; in fact, they don’t even admit it to each other. We’re not in the 1970s. We don’t need to preach.” 

Poison Apple premiered at Hollywood Fringe Festival and runs through August 20 at Space 916, 916 Formosa Ave., Hollywood 90046. Runs 70 minutes without intermission. With Sean Galuszka and Chris Sams; directed by Susan Lambert. Tickets and video here. TEXT “Poison” to 41411 for details.


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