We Are Now
nytheatre.com q&a preview by Katrin Hilbe
October 23, 2012
What is your job on this show?
What type of theater do you like most to work on?
Theatre that explores places I as director have not ventured forth yet, be it as a genre, subject matter, setting, or in the way the piece is being created. If we get locked into a certain way of thinking, believing we know what makes "good theatre", then we've lost our curiosity and creative willingness to grow as artists. We all need and love our comfort levels, but in the arts we always have to question what feels too easy for us. Chances are we are repeating what we know "works".
Why do you do theater (as opposed to film, or TV, or something not in the entertainment field)?
Because it is live, works with live people in the moment, both in rehearsals and in performance. During the rehearsal process you explore the piece at hand and get to know one another, thereby sharing a bit of life. You learn together and from each other. The frustrating thing, of course, is that it never stays the same - people change, performances are different every night, and as a director your ability to control the show is much less than in film. It lives in the moment, and the moment is fleeting. Life is fleeting. I love it, and I hate it. But I wouldn't have it any other way.
Are there any cautions or warnings you’d like to make about the show (e.g., not appropriate for little kids)?
Come curious and with a sense of fun. We are inviting the audience onto our playground. WE ARE NOW is a zany comedy with serious undertones, shifting between realistic storytelling and action thriller parody. We are in a non-traditional space with more than one location for scenes - the focus shifts, tone shifts, and even though the audience is in one place most of the time, it will also be on the move.
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, with an experimental twist.
Theater is a necessary ingredient in democratic societies. Do you agree or disagree, and why?
Theater is necessary in any society. It presents alternative realities to the one we live in, and it is a way to make sense of one's experiences. It is a vehicle to open up and spark our imagination, to think about "what if.." and "what could be..." , and sometimes just to make fun of the frustrations of our lives. It can give voice to the ones who cannot speak, and it always, always invites audience to talk about it. We need discourse, we need conflicting opinions and a culture that can deal with this. In addition, theater is a prime medium for performers and its audience to become a community. Energy sparks, communication happens in any theatrical event, and in the best of cases communion can happen. In our society,which becomes increasingly disassociated, we need this more than ever. And there is a real craving for immersive theatrical adventures for which WE ARE NOW is an example. So come for the ride! See a madcap comedy in a dystopian society, just slightly removed from our present. And then tell us about it!