The Acting Lesson
nytheatre.com q&a preview by Joshuah Patriarco
October 13, 2012
What is your job on this show?
What type of theater do you like most to work on?
I like to work on theater that confounds expectations,challenges perceptions,and ultimately breaks through the boundaries of the stage to offer the audience a true, unpredictable reality of experience. I like to work on theater that unsettles,provokes,and leaves the audience with an emotional tattoo which can never be erased.I like to work on theater which polarizes:whether the response is rapturous or profound loathing,it will be argued about and discussed.I like to work on theater that transcends and ultimately,endures.As much as,or perhaps more than any piece of theater playing in New York today,"The Acting Lesson" delivers all of that in spades.
Complete this sentence: My show is the only one opening in NYC this fall that...?
offers an intimate look behind the curtain at what was arguably the greatest,most influential and revolutionary American actor (Marlon Brando) being shaped into what he would become by arguably the greatest,most influential,and revolutionary American acting teacher(Stella Adler). Though it is loosely based and not an exact retelling(names,dates,etc.)you won't find anything closer in theatrical history to what we are doing in this play.
Do you think the audience will talk about your show for 5 minutes, an hour, or way into the wee hours of the night?
The audience will talk about our show for the rest of their theater going lives. That is not an overstatement. This play can not be topped for raw impact.It stimulates all the senses,and will leave you breathless.
Which cartoon character would you identify your show with: Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Mickey Mouse, Marge Simpson?
If this piece were a cartoon it would be Bugs Bunny.His anarchic humour,physical daring,and mile a minute inventive intelligence would fit right in with either character in this play.
Who are your heroes?
Montgomery Clift for his sensitivity,deep well of feeling,and powers of introspection.Sean Penn for his courage,strength of personality,and raw force.Daniel Day-Lewis for his integrity,intense commitment,and overwhelming power.Heath Ledger for being my James Dean,for his astonishing range and versatility,and ultimately his relentless drive.And Marlon Brando for all of the qualities listed above. He is Mozart,Picasso,and Michael Jordan.He is to acting what Shakespeare is to writing.He is the reason I do what I do.