The Best of Everything
nytheatre.com q&a preview by Julie Kramer
August 22, 2012
What is your job on this show?
Adaptor and Director.
What type of theater do you like most to work on?
I like plays that are funny and sexy and dirty and smart and dark and shocking. I really like complicated female characters. I like witty, heightened dialogue. I love a splashy musical number, especially in a non-musical. I like new plays that ask questions about our society and try to shake us up, and I love a well-timed revival that does the same thing.
What are some of your previous theater credits? (Be specific! Name shows, etc.)
Amy Wilson's "Mother Load" (Off-Broadway and national tour), "Hillary: A Modern Greek Tragedy with a (Somewhat) Happy Ending" by Wendy Weiner at New Georges, "Baby Love" by Christen Clifford at 45 Bleecker, "None of the Above" by Jenny Lyn Bader at The Lion on Theatre Row and at New Georges, "Pearl’s Gone Blue" at The 2011 Fringe (Overall Excellence Award Winner—Best Musical).
Why did you want to write/direct/produce/act in/work on this show?
I always thought the Rona Jaffe book would make a great play. It has snappy dialogue and great female characters in the vein of classics I love like "Stage Door" and "The Women". But I was also fascinated by how relevant this pre-feminist work felt to me--fascinated, and mad. Why are women still struggling almost sixty years later with the same hard choices between love and career, with what kind of a girl they want to be? I wanted to make a play that looked at how much women's lives and choices have changed since the 1950s, but which also provoked a discussion about how much they haven't.
Which cartoon character would you identify your show with: Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Mickey Mouse, Marge Simpson?
Marge Simpson. I think she'd dig it.
Can theater bring about societal change? Why or why not?
This is the big question of my life! I did my thesis on this in college. I do think so. I think it’s incremental. What we put on stage gets into the cultural ether and changes people’s views. I did a show, "Baby Love" by Christen Clifford, a few years back, where among other topics Christen talked about how you never see images of breastfeeding, and how that makes it seem like it’s something unacceptable, even shameful, even though we’re bombarded by images of breasts to sell us everything from cars to Snickers. But a few months ago I saw an ad for breastfeeding and there was an image! I don’t think it’s just because of our show, but our show was part of this conversation. I think theater can start the conversation.