Before actor/, director, producer and playwright Kash Goins begins the process of writing a play, he often begins by mentally envisioning what he wants to say long before putting pen to paper.
And the same process happens, he says, before he even begins rehearsal as an actor in a new play.
For instance, he explains, his newest role role as the father in Lynn Nottage’s play “Fabulation, or the Re-Education of Undine,” being presented by the Lantern Theater Company June2-26, could present several challenges to some performers.
“In the play, I take the role of the father as well as several other characters,” says Goins, “That might be difficult for some, but not for me. My approach, and the one I’ve used countless times before, is to get into as much of the character or characters as I possibly can so that I’m not bothered when it comes to switching from one to another.
“And although, I’m basically a dramatic actor, it’s especially easy to do when performing in a comedy, which this play is. It’s just a matter of putting on different hats.”
Today, those hats all combine to make Goins the multi-talented man he is.
The plot of Nottage’s play, which is directed by Amina Robinson, revolves around Undine who owns a successful boutique public relations firm in New York City. She’s married to an exciting, sophisticated man, and seems to have overcome her humble beginnings in the Brooklyn projects.
She’s changed her name, become a well-known mover and shaker, and has even made up a story about her family having died in a fire, but eventually she learns she cannot truly change the truth about her past.
Goins, founder of GoKashOnSTAGE, a Philly-based African American theater company, explains that he didn’t always want to be a performer. “In fact,” he says, “initially, I thought I wanted to be an architect when I grew up. Instead I wound up being a businessman and an artist.
Today, Goins is the area vice president of sales for a major health care company. But having been bitten by the acting bug way back in high school, he never completely lost his taste for the theater.
And although, initially, he viewed acting as just a hobby, one night all that changed when he took his wife to see a presentation of “Black Nativity.”
He remembers that the show ignited something in him and he decided to take some classes at Freedom Theater. “After just one class Walter Dallas saw me and booked me into a show. And that was the beginning of my professional career.”
Today, aside from his many other talents, Goins, a graduate of Lincoln University, teaches what he has learned over the years to students at Montgomery County Community College and the University of the Arts.
“Everything I do combines to give me the kind of life I want,” Goins volunteers. “But I believe I am basically a servant of an audience when I work. I hope I give them the opportunity to take something away from what they see as a way to grow within themselves.”