The Island of No Tomorrows
nytheatre.com q&a preview by Lorca Peress
October 12, 2012
What is your job on this show?
Director, Artistic Director, Co-Producer, and Scenic Designer .
What type of theater do you like most to work on?
New Works that are challenging, thought provoking, and present issues that I find important. I also specialize in developing and directing multidisciplinary theatre (i.e., projection design, music, dance, puppetry, poetry, fine arts, et al.)
Complete this sentence: My show is the only one opening in NYC this fall that...?
FEATURES A GEYSER OF MILK SPURTING FROM THE BREASTS OF TWO BEAUTIFUL NURSING WOMEN, has 7 women and one man onstage, has projections designed by Obie and Drama Desk Winner Jan Hartley, has a talk back on Women in Theatre, and has an artistic company of 16 women and 3 men.
How did you meet your fellow artists/collaborators on this show?
We are in our 15th year of producing and developing new works for MultiStages which I founded in 1997. Our Mission is to develop multicultural and multidisciplinary new works through collaborations between playwrights and artists (within and outside the theatre arena) that celebrate a fusion of art forms rarely found in today’s theatre. By supporting these cross-collaborations, new works are created that enrich, explore, and reinvent the world. Through our New Works Contests, I met Fengar Gael. She is the current winner with her play, The Island of No Tomorrows, and her play The Judas Tree was a winner in 2007. Through our contests and search for new works we have met the majority of artists and collaborators in this production. We also used HOLA (Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors) to cast, and several of us, including myself are members of the League of Professional Theatre Women (I am the League's Co-President). I have been working in NYC theatre since the 1980s, and have a bevy of talented people I work with. Anika Paris, one of our composers, is my sister and she composed for The Judas Tree, and is the co-composer of Temple of the Souls, a musical we produced in 2011 which garnered 4 HOLA Awards this October. Our costume designers also designed for Temple of the Souls. The actors have either worked with me in other productions or were cast through Actors Access and HOLA. I was introduced to Margot Lewitin (Interart) through the League of Professional Theatre Women. She and I are co-producing this show.
Which “S” word best describes your show: SMOOTH, SEXY, SMART, SURPRISING?
How important is diversity to you in the theater you see/make?
I have dedicated my life and career to advocate for women and multiculturalism in theatre. MultiStages’ mission is the pinnacle of diversity. We continue to fight to advance the world's perception of gender, culture, race, and identity through our art. As an artist of Puerto Rican, Polish and Iraqi Jewish heritage born in New York City, I believe theatre has the obligation to be all encompassing. I want to see the world I live with and am part of onstage, behind the scenes, and in the audience. We learn from the myriad of cultures that exist and the artists from different cultures breathe new life not only into our work but into ourselves. MultiStages partners with different arts organizations located in culturally diverse communities that share a common interest in the work we produce. For this production, we have chosen to present this show in the Latino Clinton neighborhood of NYC. I applaud all theatre directors and companies that are making inroads in the areas of diversity and gender parity, and hope to encourage others to follow suit.