Dad and the Dog
nytheatre.com q&a preview by Ken Wolf, Playwright and Artistic Director Manhattan Repertory Theatre
October 21, 2012
What is your job on this show?
What type of theater do you like most to work on?
The theatre that I most like to work on is theatre that challenges the "conventional" boundaries of theatre and and also helps elevate (somehow) the human condition. Dad and the Dog absolutely fits into the category - the show actually co-stars a real 3 year old 7lb "Morkie" named Roma - which challenges that old acting adage that one should never act on stage with a child or a dog - and it is about the story of my father's TRANSFORMATION during the Summer of 69 when my mother took the kids and ran away to her parent's house and left him for 6 weeks alone in a big house with our dog. The show illustrates their journey together over those six weeks. It is really really exciting.
Complete this sentence: My show is the only one opening in NYC this fall that...?
that co-stars a 7lb Morkie live Dog! Who, by the way acts up a storm!
In your own words, what do you think this show is about? What will audiences take away with them after seeing it?
I think its about the power of love and its ability to transform anything.
Which famous New Jerseyite would like your show the best: Snooki, Bruce Springsteen, Thomas Edison?
Bruce Springstein absolutely. He will LOVE the Rock soundtrack!
Who are your heroes?
Many years ago, I was up in Purchase NY, (Westchester) watching Eric Bogosian do this one man show, "Pounding Nails in the Floor with my Forehead", and he was doing a scene where he basically was a wealthy suburbanite in his backyard at a barbecue. As the scene progressed, there was no laughter. Nothing. For the theatre was filled with wealthy Westchester suburbanites. The air was thick with uncomfortableness. I was loving it. And then Eric broke character, looked out at the audience of about 500 people and said "A little too close to home huh?" and he popped back to the monologue. Awesomely funny and awesomely bold move! I was crying with laughter. Since then, he is one of my theatrical heroes. As for my other heroes, I am a huge fan of comic legend Jack Kirby (the comic creator of The Fantastic Four, Captain America, Kamandi, New Gods and so much more). He had the ability to GO BIG and actually make it work. I once directed a production of THE TEMPEST dedicated to Jack Kirby , AND WE WENT BIG with concepts. We made Ariel super powered so that whenever she entered there would be a sonic boom and all the actor would get thrown across the stage. Too much fun! I grew up reading most of Jack's comic work and he taught me the power and the fun of BIG.