nytheatre.com q&a preview by Jonathan Yukich
July 11, 2012
What is your job on this show?
Are there boundaries as to what kind of theatre you will take part in?
It's overcoming boundaries that makes working in the theatre so worthwhile and invigorating. More than film or the novel, there are constant limitations in the theatre, but through overcoming these limitations (which theatre artists have done for centuries) can come the kind of theatrical innovation and ingenuity that make live performance singular and exhilarating. As theatre artists, we're at our weakest when we shudder in the face of boundaries or limitations.
Why did you want to be part of FringeNYC?
Well, I had never done the Fringe before. It is a festival that has grown so much over the years, and I felt it was something I needed to do at some point. Also, American Midget had not received a full New York production. The play is published and has had multiple productions elsewhere, but not in New York. FringeNYC seemed like the right outlet and opportunity for the play to premiere here.
Do you think the audience will talk about your show for 5 minutes, an hour, or way into the wee hours of the night?
People do like to talk about this play. It has some very funny moments, for one, and people like sharing what made them laugh. It's also a play that creates a strange stage world that isn't as different from our own as the audience first thinks. Through the zany circus-world the play concocts, audiences begin to see overtones to our own culture and society. To paraphrase the theatre director Robert Wilson: if you place a candelabra on a dining room table, few will notice it; if you set it on a boulder amidst a desolate landscape, people will see it anew.
Which cartoon character would you identify your show with: Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Mickey Mouse, Marge Simpson?
Bugs, no doubt. In rehearsals for my plays, I often want to tell actors: less Stanislavski, more Warner Brothers cartoons.
Why should people come to FringeNYC this summer, rather than the beach, mountains, or the latest movie blockbuster?
The Fringe has become a major summer event in New York. Its success over the last several years is, in large part, the reason so many other Fringe festivals have sprouted up in major cities across the country. The program of shows represents the many, many types of theatre out there, from musicals, to broad comedies, to hard-edged experimental works. The Fringe has become a significant outlet for independent theatre in New York City.