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Interview: Joe Palmore Blends Poetry and Theater in DISTURBING THE PEACE at 4th Wall Theatre Company

Now on stage through June 17th!

The fascinating aspects of the Houston theatre are almost too numerous to count. One of them is witnessing the amazing BIPOC and diverse range of people, places and theaters that inhabit Space City USA. One individual who is the personification of the best of Houston theater is Joseph "Joe P." Palmore, who is mounting a poetic theatrical experience with the help of Houston staple, 4th Wall Theatre Company. We, as audience members, last saw Joe P., in the remount of 4th Wall's of Stephen Adly Guirgis, Between Riverside and Crazy, and his performance then was stellar. Now, we get to witness Joe P.'s exquisite poetry along with his peers in Disturbing the Peace.


Interview: Joe Palmore Blends Poetry and Theater in DISTURBING THE PEACE at 4th Wall Theatre Company
Red Lion in 4th Wall Theatre's and Joe Palmore's Disturbing the Peace.
Photo by Jeff McMorrough.

What got you into acting and theatre? Was there a specific genesis moment?

Joe P.: My Father and my mother. I say that because my father was an actor, and a professor of theater at various colleges and universities. I've always been around it. My mother because she was a pioneer woman in preaching, and I grew up watching her on stage in front of many people, and I was always performing in church. Some of my first roles on stage as a kid were in church and my father's productions.

Interview: Joe Palmore Blends Poetry and Theater in DISTURBING THE PEACE at 4th Wall Theatre Company
Estee Burks in 4th Wall Theatre's and Joe Palmore's Disturbing the Peace.
Photo by Jeff McMorrough.


What was it like remounting the critically acclaimed production of Between Riverside and Crazy? Any differences (both on and off stage) between then and now?
Joe P.: It was great! It had been 2 years since we said those words, so yes things had changed, shoot, we as people he changed. We had grown, and you could see that in our approach to it and all the different things we found that we didn't find the first time. It was a much stronger performance this time around I believe.

Interview: Joe Palmore Blends Poetry and Theater in DISTURBING THE PEACE at 4th Wall Theatre Company
RJ Wright in 4th Wall Theatre's and Joe Palmore's Disturbing the Peace.
Photo by Jeff McMorrough.


Disturbing the Peace is a theatrical poetry experience? Can you elaborate more on that?
Joe P.: Sure, I've been doing acting my whole life and poetry for half my life, so I wanted to find a way to merge my two worlds (loves), and so I wanted to bring the poetry world into the theater and use the elements we use to makes shows great, to make these poets poems even greater. I wanted to try and enhance the already dynamic pieces these poets and myself already have. Take us way from the typical way of seeing poetry on a mic and stage with a DJ and bring in the things that make theater dope to me, lights, sounds, transitions, good performing. I also wanted to introduce the theater world to the poetry scene and give them a look at how poetry can be used outside of open mics and slam events. So, it's an experimental vision that I came up with and that 4th Wall is helping me bring to life.

Interview: Joe Palmore Blends Poetry and Theater in DISTURBING THE PEACE at 4th Wall Theatre Company
Kendrick Brown in 4th Wall Theatre's and Joe Palmore's Disturbing the Peace.
Photo by Jeff McMorrough.


Something that is exciting about this project is how there are visuals of each works hard hitting truth, what elements should we be expecting to see?
Joe P.: You will see certain vignettes set up to go with the poet's poetry. Scenes that go into poems, movement and choreography that enhance the visual of what a poet is trying to express. We are not trying to distract or take away from what the poet already has, just enhance it, and bring it to life even more than what their words are doing.

4th Wall Theater has been a staple of the Houston scene, what is it like working with a small but mighty theater company?
Joe P.: I love working with 4th Wall, ever since Lobby Hero. I love the type of shows they do, and I love the intimate space. We've done some great work together and made some history, and one some awards in that small mighty Theater.

Interview: Joe Palmore Blends Poetry and Theater in DISTURBING THE PEACE at 4th Wall Theatre Company
Khalid in 4th Wall Theatre's and Joe Palmore's Disturbing the Peace.
Photo by Jeff McMorrough.

Any future plans or projects that are similar to Disturbing the Peace that we as audience members should also check out?
Joe P.: Disturbing the Peace is the start, we hope to have many more of them, and hopefully I'm able to show as more of Houston's top actors and poets in these shows together. You can also continue to look for me in shows around town, but I'm really wanting to be a producer these days, and I have a lot of concepts in my head that I think would be dope.
Any future productions that involve yourself?
Joe P: We are in audition season now, so I should know soon about that, but all the other shows I'll be in, I'll be creating on my own, so I'm not sitting around waiting on someone to hire me. So, look for me and Acting Up Studios my company to be doing some big things in the future.

Interview: Joe Palmore Blends Poetry and Theater in DISTURBING THE PEACE at 4th Wall Theatre Company
Joseph "Joe P." Palmore in 4th Wall Theatre's and Joe Palmore's Disturbing the Peace.
Photo by Jeff McMorrough

Disturbing the Peace only runs this weekend, Friday, June 17th and Saturday, June 18th at 8:00 PM at 4th Wall Theatre Co. Masks and vaccinations are no longer a requirement, although highly encouraged. Tickets can be bought at the 4th Wall Theatre website or before the performance at their venue at Studio 101 at 1824 Spring St.



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