Idolatry, written by Nicholas Bompart, directed by Stefania Papadopoulos, is the story of Anna and Andrew, a young couple, are having dinner with Anna's parents. The subject of Alex, Anna and Andrew's young son, comes up. The family quarrels over Alex's recent diagnosis with ADHD and how best to address this issue. Drama of generational proportions ensue between the family members while Alex practices his piano playing.
Allison Hohman interviews the playwright for more insight on his work.
Allison Hohman: Where did you get the inspiration for writing your piece? Nicholas Bompart: A minute amount came from my mother’s family experience settling in America from the former Soviet Union. The remaining inspiration came from the writing Gods. I wanted to write a family comedy which explored the complicated dynamics of catharsis individual family members go through as a family unit.
Allison Hohman: What is your writing process? When inspiration strikes? One hour a day? Nicholas Bompart: My process is erratic. I write at any given point during the day, anywhere from a single page to several pages. Not everything I write is fit to be produced. I usually write complete scenes in one sitting. It begins as a small idea and when fingers go to the keyboard the writing reveals a complete scene.
Allison Hohman: How did you first get involved with theater and becoming a playwright? Nicholas Bompart: I became involved in community theater as a child and fell in love with it. I became a playwright several years ago on a whim when I decided I wanted to learn to write scenes. I had a knack for dialogue and took several classes to flesh out other elements such as stage directions.
Allison Hohman: What do you love about this piece and what will others love about it? Nicholas Bompart: I love that this piece is so true to its own nature. The sincerity in the family relationships is completely relatable. This piece is about a glimmer of hope in the face of overwhelming darkness, and the equation that without darkness there cannot be any light. Others will like that the piece offers humor, heart, and deep understanding about the difficult decisions families must make together.
Allison Hohman: How important do you think it is for theatre festivals to offer opportunities for new or up and coming playwrights? Nicholas Bompart: I think it is paramount and imperative that theatre festivals offer opportunities to up and coming playwrights. In an age where everyone is trying to become famous or explore the performing arts, the market has become saturated as skewed. Fresh material has honesty which may go unchecked if only veteran playwrights have their pieces performed.
Allison Hohman: Have you participated in theater festivals before? What was that experience like? What has your experience with Rogue Theater Festival been? Nicholas Bompart: I have always self-produced my pieces for theater festivals and they have consistently been chaotic in ways theater people will understand. The rehearsal processes and performances have trumped any hardship as anyone will tell you. The experience has been an army of emails back and forth between the festival organizer and the playwright. My experience with Rogue was very pleasant, perhaps owing to their youthful leadership. Rogue was highly organized and detailed which made the entire job very enjoyable and much less like work.
Allison Hohman: How has the rehearsal and performance process differed now in Covid times vs. regular times? Nicholas Bompart: During regular rehearsals everything was routine, as opposed to Covid times when there was to be social distancing and mask-wearing. It was much easier to book a room during Covid since the studios needed the business. The studios pre-Coivd had been terribly busy. It was also easier to schedule people since actors were eager to be in a project and combat covid fatigue. I never had to worry about any surprises as I did in the pre-Covid world. The performance aspect was quite surreal. Watching the actors perform to an empty audience versus a full house brought up many feelings. The notion that the actors were not playing to a live audience almost made the work that much more significant and personnel-that we were bringing theater right into their homes.
Allison Hohman: If you weren’t a playwright, what would you be doing? Nicholas Bompart: I would have loved to have been a concert pianist. I love playing music and musicians have my highest respect. I regularly listen to Bach, Mozart, Chopin-many of the masters and their piano performances. There’s a true sense of peace which happens when I play piano.
Allison Hohman: Any advice for aspiring playwrights? Nicholas Bompart: Keep writing and keep submitting to everything. You will be rejected so many times that it will become second nature. But the acceptances you receive will leave you humbly working to create the best possible project you can.
Allison Hohman: What’s up next for you? Nicholas Bompart: I would like to go hibernate in the woods but that is not tangible, nor is signing up to be one of the first humans to colonize Mars. I must work on regular life activities now and make the most of that. I’ll continue writing scripts until one day those pieces are performed in renowned areas.
Nicholas Bompart is an actor and writer from New York City. Nicholas has more than 20 years of experience in the Theater. Nicholas began his acting career at the age of four in the “Rising Stars” children’s theater program at Forest Hills Community House in Queens, New York. He started writing plays and film scripts in his early twenties. Nicholas's plays have been performed in various theater festivals: The LIC One Act Play Festival, The Strawberry Festival; his short films have won awards at international and national independent film festivals. Nicholas is honored that his play "Idolatry" is included in the Rogue Theater Festival.
Catch Idolatry on December 12th at 7:00pm