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To Fool the Eye

nytheatre.com q&a preview by Cailin Heffernan
August 29, 2013

What is your job on this show?
Director.

What is your show about?
Amanda, a poor hat maker from Paris, is invited to a chateau by an eccentric duchess to spend a weekend trying to make her suicidal nephew, Albert, forget about the death of his great love, the divine Leocadia.

What type of theater do you like most to work on?
In today's economics, it is customary to see the world in close-up only... a couple of characters on a single set, often housed in contemporary setting. This situation has heightened my desire for work of a more "epic" nature with many characters and locations. Boomerang provides me a venue to often travel abroad and in diverse time periods with many new friends.

Why do you do theater (as opposed to film, or TV, or something not in the entertainment field)?
I love film and television. I admit, my preference in recorded entertainment is action oriented and the taste of the general populace, I think. But live theatre is my passion. What we can do with live medium is extraordinary. Audiences CAN feel the event, experience it, live it. The tragic transitory nature of theatre makes it life altering. I can't get enough of it. If I could afford it, I'd go nearly every night of my life.

Why did you want to write/direct/produce/act in/work on this show?
When I read this play, my first reaction was "it's wicked funny" with indelible characters. I like funny. A second go at it revealed how complicated the situations are with regard to character intentions, class distinctions and a twisted little plot. Those complications were my first challenge and I love challenges. The second incentive was to contend with the delicate style necessary to balance the elements of satirical comedy and a romance. Finally, the tests of conquering this play in an intimate setting along with my desire to retain an authentic French flavor, sealed the deal. My favorite past-time is to, at least to the best of my ability, fully create a world.

Groucho, Chico, Harpo, or Zeppo?
Oh, I am definitely a Groucho. I love words and sending them up. When I can grab a word or phrase and roll around on the floor with it - to the horror of on-lookers, it is heaven. My sarcasm is gentler, but on the inside, I definitely sport tails, glasses and a grease pencil moustache.

If you had ten million dollars that you had to spend on theatrical endeavors, how would you use the money?
That's an easy question. I'd take my millions and produce the kind of theatre I'd like to see... big stories taking me to lots of diverse places where I'd meet scads of new people and see the world through their eyes. And I'd hire lots of actors and designers to do it with me.