nytheatre.com q&a preview by Julie Congress
September 22, 2012
What is your job on this show?
When did you know you wanted to work in the theater, and why?
In 4th grade, I performed in an adaptation some friends wrote for class - it was called "Oedipus Wreck" (pretty clever!). I was exceedingly shy as a child, but I felt this enormous rush of creativity, energy and confidence when I was playing the overly-dramatic, tongue-speaking Oracle. Everyone in class looked at me in a different way after that and I've been hooked since!
What are some of your previous theater credits? (Be specific! Name shows, etc.)
We (No.11 Productions) just enjoyed a great run with our interactive musical comedy "Quest for the West: Adventures on the Oregon Trail!" as part of FringeNYC and our educational theatre piece "MythUnderstood" is touring schools this Fall. We've also tackled Artaud's "Jet of Blood", "Medea", "A Christmas Carol" and "Lysistrata", to name a few.
In your own words, what do you think this show is about? What will audiences take away with them after seeing it?
"Coosje" is about love and collaboration. It's about finding your voice working with someone else so as to create something stronger than you could ever have achieved on your own. And it's about looking at the world like an artist - defining the world rather than letting it define you.
People who like which of the following recent Broadway shows would also probably like your show: THE BOOK OF MORMON, ONCE, DEATH OF A SALESMAN, CLYBOURNE PARK?
Once! They're both non-traditional love stories in which art (in our case visual rather than musical) creates the common language.
Who are your heroes?
Sculptors Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen are the inspiration for this show. Their whimsical sensibility has guided the process and, as I'm playing a character named Coosje, the late Ms. van Bruggen has certainly been my hero during this process. She's got a keen critical eye, she's never satisfied with mediocrity, she knows that no decision is arbitrary and views every choice in a larger context. But the thing I love most about her is that, despite her naturally analytic disposition, Claes (her husband/collaborator) brings out this delightful whimsy and silliness in her - both in their real-life artwork (think "Spoonbridge and Cherry") and in our artistic representation of their characters.