nytheatre.com q&a preview by Kara Lee Corthron
September 5, 2012
What is your job on this show?
What type of theater do you like most to work on?
I love making theatre that is wild, unusual, surprising, challenging, funny, and often magical. When I begin a play, I always look for the moment when the expected course of events can be thwarted. That's when I know a real, singular experience between the audience and performers and me can happen. An experience that will be different in some way every night. That ephemeral craziness is one of the things I love most about the art form!
Complete this sentence: My show is the only one opening in NYC this fall that...?
has a teddy bear whose language is almost solely Grateful Dead lyrics.
Why did you want to write/direct/produce/act in/work on this show?
Oh so many reasons! AliceGraceAnon was one of four pieces commissioned by New Georges Theatre Company as a response to the incredibly shrinking theatre; the fact that new play casts are getting smaller and smaller and even the stages where new plays can be produced, are literally being minimized around the country (this is discussed way more eloquently in Todd London's brilliant book: OUTRAGEOUS FORTUNE). In response to this trend, Susan Bernfield (New Georges artistic director) decided to commission four plays. Four BIG plays. Bold, adventurous and un-producible--these were the words bandied about when she asked me to write something and I couldn't wait to allow my imagination to just go bananas! Writing this play/happening has been so liberating. I was given the freedom to drop all the worries that often plague my playwright contemporaries, which made my work a lot more . . . fun. And despite what the work of Eugene O'Neill might suggest, fun is good. (I'm being facetious of course: O'Neill is a master.) I am also excited because I've collaborated for several years with director extraordinaire Kara-Lynn Vaeni, (at New Georges and elsewhere) but this is the first time we're working together on a full production and so far the process has been awesome!! The cast and designers are fantastic, too. I could go on all day!
Which famous New Jerseyite would like your show the best: Snooki, Bruce Springsteen, Thomas Edison?
Um Springsteen, of course! There's a rock star in it, a band on stage, and there will be beer. And I'm seeing Springsteen in concert next week so I fully expect him to return the favor.
How important is diversity to you in the theater you see/make?
It's beyond important: it's necessary and a priority. If the theatre we create fails to recognize and include the population of the world it's created in, it moves that much closer to being a dead art form.