nytheatre.com q&a preview by Alyssa Simon
October 11, 2012
What is your job on this show?
When did you know you wanted to work in the theater, and why?
I went to a high school for the arts (Florida School Of The Arts in Palatka, Fl.) to major in visual/fine arts. The theatre students would rehearse scenes outside the glass-walled painting studio, where I spent hours a day sketching still life compositions. Their work looked like a lot more fun. Through the school, I got a summer job as an extra in an outdoor historical play and was cast as an Indian. The choreographer, after seeing my "war dance" audition, said, "Honey, you're no dancer" and gave me a drum to bang on instead. But it was a transformative experience to play during a performance. I felt like I was really leading my people, my family, in a battle for their lives. Later, I took one acting class, learned about the "magic if", thought back to my war drum and realized a lifetime of transforming myself is exactly what I wanted.
Complete this sentence: My show is the only one opening in NYC this fall that...?
has Edgar Allan Poe dropping knowledge on August Strindberg, a howling Cerberus, a flying landlady, a talking sparrow, a faithless ghost wife, absinthe abuse and the Egyptian goddess of the underworld weighing a feather against a human soul.
In your own words, what do you think this show is about? What will audiences take away with them after seeing it?
To me, Edward Elefterion, the playwright/director is exploring the solitary nature of the writer's working process vs. our dreams, desires and ghosts, which can inspire and/or torment an artist, but never leave us alone. My hope is that an audience member will delight in the physical imagery, music and theatrical magic used to bring Strindberg's memories and visions to life.
Groucho, Chico, Harpo, or Zeppo?
Our show is Groucho. It's irreverent, hilarious and has heavy eyebrows. It's also Zeppo, because it's charming.
Theater is a necessary ingredient in democratic societies. Do you agree or disagree, and why?
I agree. One, because of the group nature of seeing theatre. People being able to mass together anywhere is necessary for a democratic society. Two, because artists are holy fools who not only speak truth to power but question everything taught as "true" to suggest new possibilities.