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This Great Country

nytheatre.com q&a preview by Abigail Browde
July 3, 2013

What is your job on this show?
director.

What is your show about?
Turning the pillar of American drama on it's head, this show takes place at the intersection of 17 people, Death of a Salesman, and an abandoned storefront in lower Manhattan.

What type of theater do you like most to work on?
Each project from 600 HIGHWAYMEN has been radically different in its process. I'm heavily invested in re-inventing our process each time, creating work that I didn't expect to create.

Why do you do theater (as opposed to film, or TV, or something not in the entertainment field)?
Because performance in its live (not recorded) form is the most scary and thrilling. I envy those who work in recorded mediums because I think it would be better on my nervous system and perhaps my overall health, but the fleeting, intangible essence of live performance is addictive.

Are there any cautions or warnings you’d like to make about the show (e.g., not appropriate for little kids)?
Perhaps leave a little extra time to find the performance site. We're doing this in an abandoned storefront in the Pier 17 shopping mall. The rest of the mall is still active and the process of coming to the pier to see this show is certainly unforgettable.

Which character from a Shakespeare play would like your show the best: King Lear, Puck, Rosalind, or Lady Macbeth -- and why?
King Lear - though it might be a little uncomfortable, what with all the father-child relationships at play in the Loman family.

How important is diversity to you in the theater you see/make?
I think diversity is incredibly important but I get fairly itchy when diversity becomes a "concept". We make an attempt to make sure our casts - especially on this project - reflect the city we see around us, which involves racial, ethnic, and generational diversity. That to me is realism. It's much more of a concept, I think, to cast an "all-white" production rather than a diverse production.