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Love, Genius, and a Walk

nytheatre.com q&a preview by Lara Hillier
June 30, 2013

What is your job on this show?
Actor.

What is your show about?
LOVE, GENIUS AND A WALK is a brilliant new work encompassing the exigencies of marriage, infidelity, and the future of art.

What do you do when you’re not working on a play?
I make my own work! After I graduated from Carnegie Mellon's School of Drama and made the move to New York, there came this moment of realization. It dawned on me that the performers I admire most (Carol Burnett, Woody Allen, Amy Poehler, Kristen Wiig) were all at the helm of their own productions. And so I strive for that creative control in my own work. My first play, STARRING ELIZABETH TAYLOR (co-written with CMU colleague, Amy Claussen) was workshopped and produced by Hangar Theatre's Lab Company last summer. I'm currently at work on a new play, THAT WOMAN, chronicling the Lewinsky affair.

Complete this sentence: My show is the only one opening in NYC this summer that...?
...was commissioned by the Gustav Mahler Society!

Do you think the audience will talk about your show for 5 minutes, an hour, or way into the wee hours of the night?
Well that's the dream, isn't it? To leave the audience with conversations transporting them into those wee hours of the night. I know that our play has brought my cast mates and I there, many a night. Playwright Gay Walley has so exquisitely captured the struggles and sacrifices that every artist must make to serve their work, above all else.

Which “S” word best describes your show: SMOOTH, SEXY, SMART, SURPRISING?
SEXY (sex sells, right?). It's most definitely a sexy production. For me, it's nearly impossible not to feel sexy as I'm laced into my corset, taking on Alma Mahler, one of the greatest muses of the Twentieth century.

Can theater bring about societal change? Why or why not?
I wholeheartedly believe that theater has the power to bring about societal change. It's obviously not rocket science, but I feel it is immensely important work. As actors, directors, writers, we hold the power to change the audience mindset each and every performance, often, eight shows a week. That collective catharsis we all work towards has kept me performing in theater for over fifteen years, and will continue to do so for all of my life.