Over Time: Alex Ruiz and Vicent Giovanni on Developing A Play Not Just About Football [Exclusive Interview]

A football story isn’t just all about football.

From Alex Ruiz and Vicent Giovanni, Over Time is a play about four male friends watching the Super Bowl together. The play is set over in real-time about four friends having different views on various subject matters. 

LRM Online attended the premiere night of Over Time and sat down with a conversation with the actors/creators Alex Ruiz and Vicent Giovanni. 

The play is being showcased at the Stephanie Feury Los Angeles Theater this weekend and the following weekend. Visit www.goldstar.com for ticket information.

Alex Ruiz and Vincent Giovanni share how together they created Over TIme.  A play taking place during a Super Bowl Sunday, but not about football. Now showing at the Stephanie Feury Los Angeles Theater. Tickets available at Goldstar.com.

Read the exclusive interview below.

LRM Online: Congratulations on your play, Over Time. You both worked on it. Tell me about your full involvement. 

Alex Ruiz: I remembered getting together for coffee at the farmer’s market almost two years ago. That’s where the whole idea came.From there, we started working together. Not every day but at least twice a week at each other’s houses until tonight, opening night. 

LRM Online: Why did you decide to relate it to football? How’d that come about? 

Vincent Giovanni: The original idea was Alex’s idea when we met for coffee. He said, “Hey, let’s do something. Let’s do it around the Super Bowl.” That was the diving board, and we went with that. Everything else just kind of happened organically.

Alex Ruiz: We had no idea what the story would be. We thought it would be a good idea to have four guys to get together to watch the Super Bowl and happen in real-time. With four guys hanging around, things happen to these guys. Now, we had to figure out what’s going to happen to them. As Vince said, all happened organically. 

LRM Online: I will clarify this play is not only about football. Personally, for a moment, I thought it would be. You guys had intense drama, got a little physical, and into some series content.

Alex Ruiz: First and foremost, it’s a comedy. We threw in some intense drama in there, but it’s a comedy.

Vincent Giovanni: We also wanted to tackle some pertinent issues that are happening right now with the Me Too movement and how men enabled other men. We wanted to bring that to light. I hope we did an excellent job at that.  

LRM Online: You did. Interesting to see it in the male point of view, and that was good.

Alex Ruiz: It’s not oversaturated with that. We’re aware. We’ve started talking about how it was about football. Then we talked about how we should probably talk about the fact that it’s not really about football, right? Because it isn’t.

Vincent Giovanni: It’s about friendships and men behind closed doors. What it’s like these days and about getting it. At some point, we don’t have to be the same men we were ten or five years ago. We evolved, and hopefully, we brought that to light. 

Alex Ruiz: Yeah. 

LRM Online: Can you give the dates you will be presented so people can come check out Over Time?

Alex Ruiz: We had the premiere tonight and for this weekend. We’re also here the following week with Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. That’s the end of the run here. We might extend it here. We might take it to Detroit and New York as well, next year. These two weekends here.

LRM Online: That would be exciting. Going national!

Alex Ruiz: Cool!

Vincent Giovanni: When we wrote this play, we didn’t write it this way. It ended up being an easy play to put up anywhere because it’s only the two of us and one set. We do all the changes. We had a director, Eliza Hayes Maher, who’s phenomenal so we’ll take her with us. 

Alex Ruiz: I mean if we can take Eric White, who is our stage manager and lighting designer with us. That’d be nice. 

Vicent Giovanni: Yeah, exactly. 

LRM Online: There was a surprise too! Do you want to share, because there are only two of you starring in the play? But, there are four characters in the play.  

Alex Ruiz: We each play two characters each. That’s the rub. We didn’t share it with many people. That’s a surprise. There are four characters, and there’s only two of us. The trick of writing is how are we going to get these characters out of the scene organically without pushing them out. Then how do you other characters changing and coming organically? That was a challenge, but it seemed to work.

Vincent Giovanni: It worked out perfectly. When we were writing, we were, “How’s this all going to work?” When we did it, it was okay.

Alex Ruiz: Every scene that we would do; it does work. 

Vicent Giovanni: It was sheer luck. 

Alex Ruiz: Right. But it worked!

Vicent Giovanni: It’s a magic theater. 

LRM Online: You guys have set yourself up for a challenge together.

Alex Ruiz: Right now, I’m just staring at Vincent. [Laughs]

LRM Online: Want to share a little bit about your background?

Alex Ruiz: I moved here to Los Angeles about 15 and a half years ago. That’s crazy. 

LRM Online: You’re pretty much from Los Angeles now.

Alex Ruiz: I don’t say that I’m from Los Angeles. I started doing commercials. Commercials were my bread and butter and still are. I did a bunch of stageplays, but I usually do more in front of the camera and voicing. I left the theater for a while. I’ve only done one play in the last ten years, but I loved it! 

Vince was a big theater guy. I know he loves theater, loves acting, and is very passionate about it. He’s been here forever as well. He is the only person I wanted to work with again. We did talk about it before to work together on something. We kept trying to work together because we worked on three projects previously. We loved it! We kept saying, “We got to work together. We got to work together.” I don’t want to throw out a resume or anything, butI’ve been working quite a bit. [Laughs]

Vicent Giovanni: Same here. A theater background. I went to the University of Florida. I started when I was five years old on stage at the Gracious Players in Queens, New York. I was lucky enough to do a two year run of The Goddfadda Workout, which is a one-person show about The Godfather part one. I played all 27 characters, and that was in Atlantic City and Detroit. I did that for two years, and then I took a little break once they closed. It was the first thing I am pleased about. I did a passion play also just recently over Easter, and I played punches pilot. That will come back next year too. I do a lot of theater; it’s what I love to do. 

LRM: Great! Well, congratulations to both of you and to taking Over Time across the country. 

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