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The Twine

nytheatre.com q&a preview by Lavinia Roberts
August 9, 2013

What is your job on this show?
Playwright.

What is your show about?
The Twine explores the nature of love, memory, and loss using symbols from Greek mythology, the image of a labyrinth, and original live music, dance, and masks.

Are there boundaries as to what kind of theatre you will take part in?
I appreciate theatre that is collaborative and explores the dialogue that exists when artists from various mediums join together to create work. I love the intersection between movement, sound, and text, and how they can inspire each other. I appreciate exploring with objects, such as masks and puppetry, to create something really beautiful. I appreciate bringing beautiful objects into the process to see how it shapes and speaks with the movement and text. I explore the power of silence and stillness. Playfulness is present in all of my work. As children, we create elaborate worlds during imaginative play. Worlds with complex expectations for behavior that all participants adhere to. All my performances have an element of imaginative play. I enjoy creating a whimsical, complex world and including those around me in that world.

Why do you do theater (as opposed to film, or TV, or something not in the entertainment field)?
Theatre is such an amazing space for both performers and audience members to really be present and focused in a space and a moment. There also is such a great element of imaginative play in creating theatre, that just isn't present in film or other mediums I have worked in. Having the audience present in the space, the live nature of the work, is extremely exciting. Creative movement, physical theatre, mask work, live music, are so exciting and are the most effective in live theatre. I like the immediate nature of theatre, the ritualistic, sacredness of being in the space, at that time. I love working with artists in a variety of mediums and collaborating to create work.

How did you meet your fellow artists/collaborators on this show?
I am thrilled by the diverse talent dedicating their craft and voice to this production of "The Twine." The composer, Garrison York and I, meet previously working on a site specific interactive piece last February, called "The Cave," created in Frontrunner gallery, Chinatown. Garrison is extremely talented and his voice and vision as a composer is really ideal for the world of the play. Christine Samar, the costume designer, has created elaborate, fantastical, and unique pieces for several of my plays, including "Odd.A.See", a site specific piece now open at Arts@Rennisance in Brooklyn, "Eaten Voices," at Dixon place this Spring, and "Tales from the Tree," with Sparrow Tree Theatre Company at the Frost space in Brooklyn. I'm so thrilled to work with her again! My talented cast and crew come from a variety of places, countries. I really aimed to bring together an ensemble of people with diverse skill sets, backgrounds, and talents. I wanted a variety of experiences, movement vocabularies, epistemologies, cultural lenses, being brought into the rehearsal space and enriching the process. I had previously worked with the lead, Jamie Law, and I was delighted to have my first choice for the part except the role of Psyche. She is an extremely strong mover, smart actor, and joy to collaborate with. I also have worked, several times, with Lulu, who is a very dynamic, enthralling actress who really commands the space. Most of my cast were individuals I had seen audition and kept their head shots, thinking, I would love to work with this person. They seem like great human beings and artists! I'm really excited with the playful, creative, and open ensemble we have!

Which “S” word best describes your show: SMOOTH, SEXY, SMART, SURPRISING?
"The Twine," is really a sexy show. The movement is chic, charged, beautiful. How else can you explore the nature of love without it also exploring sensuality as well? This piece is a dialogue about our experience of romantic love. We live in a culture where sex is used to sell products, yet human sexuality is considered taboo. We often lack a healthy dialogue about a pretty profound human experience. This work really explores the nature of romantic love, from a queer lens.

Why are theater festivals so very important?
Theatre festivals, such as the UNfringed Festival at the Secret Theatre, really provide artists with the professional support and space to showcase fully realized and innovative work by emerging and established artists. I appreciate having the space and artistic control to really play and create something innovative for the stage, something that I might not have been able to do in a more traditional venue.