Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: The production, Snap, Honey!, will soon be appearing as part of the Hollywood Fringe Festival. For those who may be unfamiliar, what can you tell us about its premise?
Ma’at Atkins: Yes, its about the story about the life of a female impersonator, Vageena Honey, and how “he” became “her” in drag through storytelling, flashbacks, and a talk show interview.
BD: As the writer and director of the production, what was your inspiration for writing this play, and what do you hope that audiences will take away from the show?
MA: The inspiration was actually the main actor who is in the play, Jaron Hicks. He was cast in a play I produced in 2007 in St. Louis called Monologues and Penisillin, where he was among four other castmates playing the same role. He was so animated playing the role that I thought of doing a spinoff with just Vageena Honey and have the character just do a one-woman play, but, at the time, Jaron's confidence to do a one-woman show wasn't quite there, so I added characters to the story. In 2011, Snap Honey was born . . . I hope audiences get the moral of the play which is that we all are the same when it comes to having a story about our life and all of the ups and downs that comes with it in all its prettiness and ugliness. Also, we all use drag in our lives whether its to entertain, employment drag like a uniform, or use it like a mask of who we really are in public.
BD: You have a tremendous cast and crew involved with the production, including actor Jaron Hicks who portrays Vageena Honey. What can you share with us about the creative process in bringing the shows to life?
MA: Yes, I do have a huge cast. Enough to split it in two casts! Well, the process has been continuing since the play was staged in St Louis in 2011, and staged a few more times throughout the years, including debuting it in Los Angeles at The Complex in 2016. It's been the same: rehearse six months out with a new cast plus Jaron. For the last two years, I have used Facebook Messenger video to have rehearsals, as strange as it may seem, but it works, especially when it comes to juggling people's schedules. People have done their rehearsals in their cars, their job breaks, at the park, at hostels, you name it. The last two weeks we have had in-person blocking rehearsals. And when it's blocking time, it's old hat with everyone as far as their familiarity of the script.
BD: What makes the Hollywood Fringe Festival an ideal venue for Snap, Honey!?
MA: The play needs to be seen in a festival like this. It needs the Fringe audience who would appreciate what this play is about and its content. It needs this stage to take it to the next level of its growth and development.
BD: The show will be appearing at studio/stage from June 1-22, 2018. Are there any future plans to perform the show at other venues?
MA: Yes, I've applied for the Encore Awards for the possibility for it extending after Fringe and other Fringes in the country.
BD: Lastly, what would you like to tell readers who want to learn more about and purchase tickets for Snap, Honey!?
MA: They can get tickets at Eventbrite searching Snap Honey and finding the black-and-white flyer with the four storyboard pics. Tickets will be available until May 31 and, of course, the Fringe website typing in the name of the play.