On the Future
nytheatre.com q&a preview by Eevin Hartsough
September 28, 2012
What is your job on this show?
What type of theater do you like most to work on?
I love theater that's innovative. It's telling a new story or it's telling the story in a new way or it's using theatrical devices in new (and maybe more powerful) ways. It's part of what I value about Neo-Futurism: as an aesthetic it really breeds innovation. Beyond innovation, I want theater that's telling the truth in some way. I want theater to entertain but I also want it to help me understand myself and/or my world better.
Who is more important in the theater: the actor, the playwright, or the director?
My most rewarding theatrical experiences have been truly and deeply collaborative. I think the actor, playwright and director are all more important at certain moments and less at others. It's like asking what's more important: your heart, your lungs or your nervous system. You don't want to pick one, you want them all working in concert and the better they work together, the better the outcome of the final project.
Why did you want to write/direct/produce/act in/work on this show?
Lots of reasons. In mid-March I had a baby (my first) so, personally, I'd been thinking about the future a lot - both in the abstract as it pertained to this other little person newly in my life and concretely as I pondered the future of my artistic life in light of becoming a parent. Knowing I was going to write this play and working on it helped keep me from feeling like my pre-baby identity was going to slip away. Also, I was excited to JUST write (the Neos most often perform in and direct their own work, so it's a bit atypical for me to wear only the one hat) and to address the challenge of bringing what I was thinking about to the stage in a way that is (hopefully) a lot more universal than my individual experience.
Which “S” word best describes your show: SMOOTH, SEXY, SMART, SURPRISING?
Three: Smart, Surprising and . . . SASSY! I think audience members will enjoy how diverse these six plays are and yet how uniformly thoughtful and well-crafted they are.
If you had ten million dollars that you had to spend on theatrical endeavors, how would you use the money?
I really do believe that the arts are the soul of society and I feel amazingly lucky to live in NYC where I have great access to a ton of excellent and diverse theater. I'd use the money to bring arts, generally, and theater specifically into schools and communities where that access doesn't exist. I'd love for more people to grow up with theater as much a regular part of their experience as going to the movies or a ball game.