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The Service Road q&a preview by Cory Einbinder
January 5, 2013

What is your job on this show?
video designer, puppet designer, prop designer, performer, and producer..

What is your show about?
A modern day Herculean saga that examines what it means to be of service and the true nature of forgiveness.

When did you know you wanted to work in the theater, and why?
When I was 7, somewhat by chance, I was cast as the Young King in Paramount Picture’s “King of the Gypsies.” This experience was really exciting but also confusing to me as a young boy. When I had returned to school after filming people began to treat me differently. I really wanted to stay away from the theater and performing; the only problem was, I was hooked! I wanted to work on more productions but also have some anonymity. Luckily, I found I enjoyed working behind the scenes equally, if not more, gratifying, especially when I can work in different visual mediums to tell the story. I have many different interests, from painting, drawing, and designing, to building puppets or interactive video systems. They all have a place in theater.

Who is more important in the theater: the actor, the playwright, or the director?
Oh, come on Martin, is this a trick question? Of course, you know that as the Artistic Director of a theater company dedicated to collaborating with professional artists of all disciplines, from fashion designers to scientists and blues musicians to illustrators, that my answer is going to be that all of them are equally important. That said, however, it is the production that is the most important, and we all—actor, playwright, director—are slaves to it.

Why did you want to write/direct/produce/act in/work on this show?
This production is very personal to me. My co-director (who is also my wife) and I are long time fans of Erin’s as well as close friends, and so we commissioned her to write a piece for us. Erin consciously used her knowledge of us as artists, friends, and Brooklynites in writing the piece. Even the character of “The Big Headed Toddler” was inspired by our son Emmett. It’s important to us to develop new works, to bring new plays to full production. Fortunately, we have been able to give this piece the attention and support it deserves by bringing in an amazing director like Meghan Finn and having such strong support from the residency program at The New York City College of Technology.

Which famous New Jerseyite would like your show the best: Snooki, Bruce Springsteen, Thomas Edison?
Hmmm…well I definitely think Thomas Edison would appreciate the production for the pure inventiveness of it. We have a video puppet that moves freely about the stage whose face is created by a tiny pico-projector imbedded in his head. To think, this started from Edison’s creation of the first motion picture camera. We also have a mechanical device on stage that could rival an old Victrola. On the other hand, “The Boss” might get a kick out of it, ‘cause The Show ROCKS!

Can theater bring about societal change? Why or why not?
I don’t think it’s any coincidence that when a fascist regime takes over - the theater makers and other artists are the first to be dispatched. We should be feared. Theater is a place where community can be built, history and culture can be preserved, and dissident voices can speak. And, even worse, (for them) it can be done with humor.