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The Ultimate Stimulus

nytheatre.com q&a preview by Felipe Ossa
June 23, 2013

What is your job on this show?
Playwright.

What is your show about?
A satirical multi-media talk given by Amanda McCloud, a fictitious avant garde economist who believes the solution to the widening income gap in our country is concubinage.

What type of theater do you like most to work on?
I used to see theater as a well defined, particular thing – audience on one side, performers on another, a discernible arc for the main characters, etc. But after several years of experiencing the insane range of performance that only New York offers, that’s gone out the window. This evolution parallels the kind of theater I’ll take part in – now it’s basically anything save for the brutalist variety where audience members get abused. (Who knows maybe that’ll change too!)

Complete this sentence: My show is the only one opening in NYC this summer that...?
...features a rigorous, comprehensive proposal to bridging the income gap in this country by forcing the rich to have sex with the rest of us.

How did you meet your fellow artists/collaborators on this show?
First of all, the women I’m working with are terrific. Sara Wolkowitz, my smart-as-a-whip director, is someone I met through colleagues. Before "Stimulus" she’d directed a fantastic, funny teaser for my play “Monetizing Emma.” Tanya O’Debra, the performer, I met at the 2010 Fringe. She was the venue manager where a play of mine was showing and I was instantly charmed. When I learned she was a performer, I knew I’d be smitten with her onstage: I was right. Katie Meade, our superb stage manager, I met through Horse Trade, the festival producer. She’s super even keeled and never loses her sense of humor, really great to work with.

Which famous person would you most like to get a fan letter from: Denzel Washington, Maggie Smith, Ang Lee, Audra McDonald?
Ang Lee – because I would like to impersonate a desperate Emma Thompson pitching him a mashup of Hulk and Sense & Sensibility, with herself as the protagonist.

Who are your heroes?
(Cultural ones off the top of my head) Muriel Spark, Pedro Almodóvar, Joe Orton, Luigi Pirandello, Faye Dunaway, Nikolai Gogol, any gay or lesbian fully out before the 70s.