nytheatre.com q&a preview by Kevin Lapin
January 28, 2013
What is your job on this show?
co-founder Gold No Trade, actor, producer.
What is your show about?
A Civil War historical fiction about a famous female spy, Rose Greenhow, and the first female detective, Kate Warne, hired by the Pinkertons to catch her.
What type of theater do you like most to work on?
The most important aspect of any project for me are the people involved. I will work on traditional or nontraditional theater, movement based or text based, big or small budget, anything as long as I have the chance to work with people I like and respect. This not only creates the best work or results, but also makes for the most enjoyable process. Although we come together to create theater that moves or surprises, teaches or entertains people, we actually spend most of our time in rehearsal with the cast and production team.
Why do you do theater (as opposed to film, or TV, or something not in the entertainment field)?
I love watching movies and there is also a lot of great TV out there, but there is nothing like the experience of seeing a great play. I usually feel like seeing a play is a bit of risk, more chance of being disappointed or bored etc. compared to seeing a movie or watching TV. In spite of this, or perhaps because of this, nothing can beat the experience of being subsumed by the collective audience experience that takes place in the theater, as real humans sweat and spit and create a unique and never to be recreated exactly the same theatrical experience. Magical.
How did you meet your fellow artists/collaborators on this show?
Most of us have worked together before on prior projects or have come recommended to us (1 or 2 degrees of separation). Several of us attended the same theater school, the Lecoq School in Paris, which is unique in teaching a very collaborative approach to creating theater from the ground up (devised theater). This comes back to the answer to question #1, ie the importance in theater (and life!?!) of working with a talented, intelligent, creative and perhaps most of all fun group of people.
Which famous person would you most like to get a fan letter from: Meryl Streep, Lindsay Lohan, Steven Spielberg, Philip Seymour Hoffman?
We honestly love getting feedback from our audience, especially hand written letters. In fact, part of our process of creating a new work is to perform it several times (workshops, readings etc.) so that we can learn from audience reactions, feedback etc. as we iteratively add layers and build a deeper and richer performance/play. We are not opposed to receiving letters from famous people and I think it would be interesting to see what Lindsay Lohan would think of our show. Although our style of theater (devised, historical fiction) tends to be "smart" and "stylized", we pride ourselves on telling a good story in a way that is entertaining to even the non erudite or theatrical audience member.
How important is diversity to you in the theater you see/make?
Very. If theater is to 'hold a mirror up to life' and teach us about ourselves and today and tomorrow and yesterday, then it needs to reflect the diversity in all of us and in our society.