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The Drowning Girls

nytheatre.com q&a preview by Jessica Bashline
February 1, 2013

What is your job on this show?
director.

What is your show about?
In The Drowning Girls, three ghostly brides emerge, spluttering and gasping, from three bathtubs full of water to gather evidence against their womanizing, murderous, husband by reliving the shocking events leading up to their deaths.

When did you know you wanted to work in the theater, and why?
When I was in the first grade I saw 42nd street on Broadway. I was entranced. I was so blown away by the production. Although I didn't quite get the show within a show concept-- and when Jerry Orbach came out to "cancel" the show within the show I cried hysterically. Once I figured out what was going on I was hooked. After the show I went with my family to a fancy restaurant/bar overlooking Central Park. While waiting for the elevator, a man asked me about 42nd street-- since I was wearing the T-shirt over my dress. I proceeded to tell him the entire story, how amazing it was, what I thought about every minute. When we got upstairs he thanked me and went his way, while my family and I went ours. About 5 minutes later a large glass of orange juice came to our table-- "a drink for the young lady", the waitress said. It was from the man in the elevator. At that moment I just knew...

Why do you do theater (as opposed to film, or TV, or something not in the entertainment field)?
There is something truly magical to me about the relationship between audience and performer in the theater. It is what has always attracted me to the art form. The fleeting nature of the performance is always so exciting. The fact that it exists only in the moment of the performance itself is very cool. If you weren't there you missed out!

Why did you want to write/direct/produce/act in/work on this show?
When I first read "The Drowning Girls", 4 years ago, I knew I wanted to be involved in this play but I wasn't quite sure how. But the more I talked about it and thought about it the more I realized that directing the piece was where my heart was. "The Drowning Girls" is a project like none other I have ever worked on, on so many levels. The use of water in the play is completely new to me-- and it is so exciting. The water in this show becomes almost another character to work with. Also the chance to explore a range of characters using the talents of three wonderful actresses is appealing. In this show each actress plays at least 5 roles, with no costume or make up changes- using only her body and voice to tell the story. When my partner, Evan Mueller and I founded Strange Sun Theater we were specifically looking for a play we found magical and exciting, for me it was the perfect moment to direct and produce this play.

Which famous person would you most like to get a fan letter from: Meryl Streep, Lindsay Lohan, Steven Spielberg, Philip Seymour Hoffman?
Meryl Streep- I watched her hail a cab once outside of Bed Bath and Beyond in Chelsea. I saw her coming out of the store and hid behind a pillar, just to watch her hail a cab. I am not proud- but it's the truth. I wanted to watch how she did it.

If you had ten million dollars that you had to spend on theatrical endeavors, how would you use the money?
If I had 10 million dollars to spend on theatrical endeavors I would give lots of people a small amount of money with no strings. 50K-100K gifts to make the art they want to make-- live off the money and write a play, produce a show, travel somewhere and make a piece of art about it. I am intrigued by work that happens on a smaller scale- so ten million dollars can create a lot of really amazing work. I would also give myself some of that money to invest in Strange Sun Theater, and some of our upcoming work in development!