Many critics view professional wrestling as a world of superficial theatrics, but Kristoffer Diaz, playwright of The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity, explored a deeper level of parallels between the wrestling and theater worlds in a recent interview with the L.A. Times.
"There's an independent wrestling scene, but the WWE [World Wrestling Entertainment] is essentially a monopoly," he says. "And as a wrestler, you can say, 'This place is racist, homophobic, and on top of that it's a bad version of what I want to do.' But what are you going to do? You either go to a smaller arena, or you stay in the big time and you're complicit."
A fan of professional wrestling since a young age, Diaz compares that business model with the way he feels about writing plays.
"If you're a playwright who doesn't want to do people-on-a-couch plays, there are not a lot of avenues," Diaz says. "You can go and do television, or you can stay and fight with organizations that aren't really equipped to support work by people of color or experiment with form."