The Best of Everything
nytheatre.com q&a preview by Amy Wilson
August 22, 2012
What is your job on this show?
actor and producer.
When did you know you wanted to work in the theater, and why?
Seriously, all my life. As a child I used to strongly exhort all my cousins to join me in performing Christmas pageants for the grownups every year. (Often I was the only one with my oars in the water.) All kids dream of growing up to be something slightly impractical- ballerina, astronaut, pitcher for the Yankees- it's just that I picked "actor" and then never changed my mind.
What was the last show you saw that really excited you, and why?
"Goodbar," produced by the theater troupe Waterwell and my good friend Mark Russell as part of 2012's Under the Radar Festival at the Public. I had never seen video, and rock music, used so successfully as part of a theater piece before. I didn't always know exactly what I was seeing, but I was transfixed. It was anarchic and experimental but for very specific reasons.
Do you think the audience will talk about your show for 5 minutes, an hour, or way into the wee hours of the night?
I think people who come see The Best of Everything-- especially women-- will be chatting over their 1950s style cocktails way into the wee hours after seeing this show. An incredible amount has changed for women over the past 60 years. An incredible amount has not. Every woman will recognize herself in the struggles of one of these characters.
People who like which of the following recent Broadway shows would also probably like your show: THE BOOK OF MORMON, ONCE, DEATH OF A SALESMAN, CLYBOURNE PARK?
I'm going to say Clybourne Park, for the reasons I just stated above. That play is about racist assumptions, how much America has changed, and how much it hasn't. Both are true. The roles of women in the workplace, of gender and sexual politics, are similarly miles and inches ahead of where they were back then.
Theater is a necessary ingredient in democratic societies. Do you agree or disagree, and why?
Agree. The Belarus Free Theater were risking their lives to be part of the Under the Radar Festival last year in New York City, because they were telling the truth about conditions in their country. The band Pussy Riot (let's assume they are somewhat theatrical) just got two years in prison for being openly critical of Putin. Artists shine a light on what needs to change. It's up to the rest of the world to have the courage to listen.