nytheatre.com q&a preview by Austin Regan
July 25, 2012
What is your job on this show?
What was the last show you saw that really excited you, and why?
One of the most exciting things I saw this year was a play called "The Further Adventures of Hedda Gabler" by Jeff Whitty. The organization that produced it, Exit Pursued By a Bear, performs in a living room, and the actors and creative team served the audience dinner during intermission. It's an incredible and intimate way to experience a night of theater. And it didn't hurt that the play was genius and the performances were excellent across the board.
If you're a New Yorker: why is FringeNYC an important part of the summer theater scene?
FringeNYC is an unparalleled opportunity to see brave, daring, and exciting new work. It attracts top artists from New York City as well as across the globe. And the sheer variety of plays and musicals that are seen in FringeNYC is thrilling. A smart and funny contemporary dramedy like the play I am directing, "#MormonInChief", can coexist in the same festival as rock operas, cabarets, and experimental work. There's something for everyone, and there's also an opportunity to see something that you might not normally be exposed to.
Why did you want to write/direct/produce/act in/work on this show?
There were two main reasons I was interested in directing "#MormonInChief". The first is simple: the quality of the play. What can I say? It was the kind of script that filled my brain with ideas. I immediately wanted to know more, to talk about it, to engage with the questions that the story brought up. So I knew immediately it was a project I was interested in. The second was that I feel that there is a real reason to be doing THIS play, at THIS moment, in 2012. It engages issues and questions we all have about personal responsibility and the intersection of faith and politics in the internet age -- questions that didn't even exist five or ten years ago. That kind of thing excites me.
Which “S” word best describes your show: SMOOTH, SEXY, SMART, SURPRISING?
I wish I could cop out and say "all of them!" But if I have to choose just one, I'd say that "#MormonInChief" is SURPRISING. It's both humorous and deep, both ambitiously creative and simple. I have a feeling it's not what people expect, but that everyone who sees it will be thrilled by it.
Why should people come to FringeNYC this summer, rather than the beach, mountains, or the latest movie blockbuster?
One of the most amazing things about a play is that it only exists in the moment it's performed. FringeNYC is about creating hundreds of those moments. Many of the productions in this year's festival will go on to future productions and long, healthy lives (including, I hope, "#MormonInChief"), but that moment of genesis, of the first spark of something being made -- that's only happening now. You can see "Robots And Explosions IV: This Time It's Personal" when it comes out on Netflix this fall. Come see live theater this summer.