Five Burning Questions with Fireflies Star Khris Davis
October 17th, 2018
by Josh Ferri
Khris Davis delivers a searing, moving performance as Charles, a troubled pastor and Civil Rights activist living in the The Jim Crow South, in Donja R. Love's new drama Fireflies. The second piece in Donja's "Love Trilogy", the two-hander co-stars DeWanda Wise as Khris' wife and examines a seemingly perfect marriage in turmoil.
BroadwayBox caught up with Khris (who NYC audiences know for his breakout performances in LCT's The Royale and in the Pulitzer Prize-winning drama Sweat) to discuss the honest, new work, his complex character, and his time as Tracy on FX's Emmy-winning TV series Atlanta.
1. Where did you begin building this complex character? What struck you from the page? What did you know you wanted to bring to it?
I started building this character moment by moment. Trying to flush out the complexities that were on paper first. And what I saw on the page, moment by moment, struck my interest into how deep I could attempt to make Charles. I knew I wanted to bring gentleness, love, and thoughtfulness first. Then build from there.
2. In such a powerful and emotional two-hander, what is your pre-show like? Do you and DeWanda have any rituals together?
The pre-show is usually pretty chill. DeWanda and I talk for a bit while we prepare. It’s a subtle way of checking in before we jump into such a roller coaster of emotions. Then every day. Right before the play begins. We look at one another. In silence as we prepare to step into this world of Fireflies. Alone, together.
3. What initially attracted you to Fireflies? What was it about the piece that you wanted to tell this story?
What initially attracted me to Fireflies was the relationship, and honest humanity between these two people. It felt, on paper, like an organic and complicated depiction of two people struggling to be themselves while battling the weight of societal constructs and real dangers. While still trying to love.
4. What’s your most cherished memory of the Sweat experience?
My most cherished memory of the Sweat performance was my cast, and that includes Lynn and Kate. Sharing a space with them. Sharing our genuine hearts with one another, off stage is something dreams are made of. I was gifted that, and I feel blessed to still have them in my life.
5. You memorably appeared as Tracy on season two of FX's Atlanta. What do you enjoy most about life on the set of that show?
On the set of Atlanta what I liked the most? I would say just the mere fact that I was there. It was such a beautiful experience getting to work with every single person on that team. The atmosphere was full of laughter and warm hearts. There isn’t one thing I liked the most. Because it was all so amazing.
Hurry to Atlantic Theater Company’s Linda Gross Theatre before November 11 to see Khris Davis’ powerful performance in ‘Fireflies’.