Rough Approximations: A Devil Tale
nytheatre.com q&a preview by Keilly McQuail
October 11, 2012
What is your job on this show?
When did you know you wanted to work in the theater, and why?
I played the Bad Seed when I was 10 years old--walking around in frilly dresses and killing little boys with my tap shoes. I owe the decision to devote myself to this to community theatre. That is where I messed up, it's where I found what I was good at, it's where I found a family. Oddly enough, 13 years later, my character has got a thirst for murder once again, in ROUGH APPROXIMATIONS. I don't know what the hell that says about me...I was also an unabashed Renthead from the age of six. I can't leave Jonathan Larson out of it, I will shout his name from the rooftops--or the artistically precarious fire-escape--haters be damned.
What was the last show you saw that really excited you, and why?
BLACK WATCH at St. Ann's--I haven't had an experience like that since the last time National Theatre of Scotland graced DUMBO with its presence. Enda Walsh's MISTERMAN with Cillian Murphy is a close second. Maybe I just melt for the Irish and the Scots. I think they do something right. Specifically, National Theatre of Scotland. I find it totally admirable that they do not have the luxury of a real home-base, forcing them to devote their artistry and their money on getting their work out into the community and into the world, no venue is too big or too small. They are total renegades who are so good at what they do, that we warmly invite them into our cushy commercial theatres again and again--and it's a gift when they come here.
How did you meet your fellow artists/collaborators on this show?
I would not be doing this show had I not had a nasty break up with the playwright outside of Atlantic Terminal one fateful, freezing night last December. Well, not really. We were pretending. We were acting. I was lucky enough to act opposite John Macdonald in a gorgeous little piece by playwright Diana Stahl. It was for one of Daniel Talbott's Site-Specific Directing Classes at ESPA-- so the real star was the subway terminal. John and I said 'nice to meet you' and then began having it out amidst a crowd full of very cold, and very confused strangers. It was nice. Clearly, there were no hard feelings.
Groucho, Chico, Harpo, or Zeppo?
Zeppo. He looks like he's up to no good--but you like him anyway.
If you had ten million dollars that you had to spend on theatrical endeavors, how would you use the money?
These big picture questions...I'm not sure, this year in particular has come with a lot of loss--people you love getting old and doing what old people do. So that's been on my brain. If I had a million dollars, I'd like to produce new work, and be able to give all the proceeds back to Alzheimer's research. The idea of your mind leaving you before your body does is unnatural and unfair to me, and I want us all to be witness to more great, new work for the entirety of our lives.