nytheatre.com q&a preview by Kara-Lynn Vaeni
September 6, 2012
What is your job on this show?
When did you know you wanted to work in the theater, and why?
When I was in my mid-twenties, I quit theater in disgust and sold cable advertising instead. I was no longer worried about paying my rent, but I was out of my mind with depression and purposelessness. In an attempt to reconnect with something that approached the joy of theater combined with hopefully making a living wage, I decided to follow the family tradition. I decided to go to Divinity school and become a UU minister. My reasoning was that I would only have to work one day a week performing a monologue I'd written myself, I'd have summers off, and I'd get a free house. To attend my chosen Div School, you had to perform "Religious Education", where you shared your skills with the community. The only skill I had was theater directing, so I directed, produced and designed a production of GODSPELL for my church. While still working 50 hours/week for the cable place. I was physically exhausted AND the happiest, most complete, most fulfilled I had been all year. When my minister uncle asked me how I knew I had been "called" to the ministry, I asked him what he meant. He said, "when did you know that serving the church was the most important thing in your life, that it makes you feel fulfilled and grateful and is basically what you should be doing with your life." I went, "Oh shit", quit my job, applied to grad schools and started an MFA program that year.
Complete this sentence: My show is the only one opening in NYC this fall that...?
will suck out your soul, chew it up, and give it back to you all sparkly and new.
In your own words, what do you think this show is about? What will audiences take away with them after seeing it?
On one level, this show is about growing up, which as we know, can happen at any biological age. In another level, this show is about what happens when a bunch of kick ass artists, including people who design sets, clothes, puppets, lights, sound, music and dance get in a room with a killer script, turn the pages one at a time and ask, "and then what can we do?" "and THEN what can we do?" AND THEN WHAT CAN WE DO?" The answer takes up two entire floors and a lot of candy.
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?
Book of Mormon and ONCE.
How important is diversity to you in the theater you see/make?
That's like asking how important oxygen is in the air I breathe. It's not "important", that's a luxury. It's non-negotiable.