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The Vindlevoss Family Circus Spectacular

nytheatre.com q&a preview by Karim Muasher
January 23, 2013

What is your job on this show?
Co-Creator/Co-Performer.

What is your show about?
A mustachioed Professor and an innocent zombie endeavor to bring their family circus back to its former glory.

Where were you born? Where were you raised? Where did you go to school?
I was born in Amman, Jordan. When I was a year old, we moved to America. I grew up in Norfolk, Virginia. I went to Ithaca College and got my BFA in Acting. I then went to London and got my MFA in Lecoq Based Theater from the London International School of Performing Arts. And now I live and make theatre here in New York.

Who is more important in the theater: the actor, the playwright, or the director?
It depends. I make devised theatre, which to me is a collaborative process in which the tasks of performing, writing, and directing are shared by a group of actor-creators. This allows for the creation of really unusual work that is suited to the unique talents and personalities of the performers.

Is there a particular moment in this show that you really love or look forward to? Without giving away surprises, what happens in that moment and why does it jazz you?
I play Edward the Zombie in this show. He's a domesticated zombie, so he's given up all the bloodthirsty rage and has become a real sweetheart. He's replaced his appetite for brains with a diet of nothing but broccoli. Devouring a head of broccoli while wearing fake zombie teeth is a LOT of fun.

Which cartoon character would you identify your show with: Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Mickey Mouse, Marge Simpson?
Mickey Mouse. He embodies such unconditional love and innocence, and this show really comes from that place. The show also has a streak of complete absurd insanity, and I would identify that with the cartoon greats Ren and Stimpy.

Can theater bring about societal change? Why or why not?
Theater, like all art, influences our culture. And when culture changes, society follows.