nytheatre.com q&a preview by Leegrid Stevens
September 28, 2012
What is your job on this show?
Playwright, Director, Sound Designer.
Where were you born? Where were you raised? Where did you go to school?
I was born in Provo, Utah, even though my parents were living in California at the time. However, the hospitals in Provo were much cheeper so they DROVE there to have me. That is so like my dad. I was raised mostly in the boonies outside of Austin, called Spicewood (nice name!). I also spent significant time in American Fork in Utah (terrible name - compounding the problem was the fact that our high school team name was the 'cavemen'. Proud we all were to be American Fork Cavemen.) I also lived in Israel and California when I was young. I attended SMU in Dallas for theatre and then Columbia in NY for playwriting.
Complete this sentence: My show is the only one opening in NYC this fall that...?
...has a main character that never touches the floor.
Why did you want to write/direct/produce/act in/work on this show?
I wanted to riff a bit off of Happy Days by Samuel Beckett. I wanted to create a situation in which a woman was removed from her body, alone, and trying to find reasons for optimism. Long term space travel felt close to that kind of situation. A person is essentially trapped inside a very very small space module, millions of miles from Earth, and unable to communicate directly with anybody (it takes 12 minutes for a signal from Mars to get to Earth). In the eyes of the world that astronaut would be a hero. But after being alone for so long I think other thoughts would start creep in.
Which famous New Jerseyite would like your show the best: Snooki, Bruce Springsteen, Thomas Edison?
Edison would love a show about going to Mars! Also, he might enjoy how important his invention has become to theatre. We even have little lights inside the space helmet!
Can theater bring about societal change? Why or why not?
Most of the time, no. But sometimes, yes. It can be depressing how much more effective Twitter is at bringing social change than theatre, though. The days of Waiting For Lefty are gone, in my opinion. Theatre no longer serves as the voice of many and is instead the voice of a few eccentric individuals (like myself, I guess). Twitter and social media has become the voice of many.