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Untitled Biopic Project

nytheatre.com q&a preview by Marc Bovino
June 19, 2013

What is your job on this show?
Co-Artistic Director of The Mad Ones and a co-creator/performer for Biopic Project.

What is your show about?
Biopic Project is a hallucinatory meditation on 1960s folk rock and the confines of motel room 118.

When did you know you wanted to work in the theater, and why?
4th Grade I played Johnny Appleseed in the Arbor Day production of Johnny Appleseed. There's a monologue late in the play where Johnny explains how he survived a bullet to the chest. He is supposed to triumphantly pull a Bible from his shirt with the bullet lodged in it proving that his faith saved him. I reached into my shirt to pull out the Bible and it had fallen from my shirt all the way down my pants. I spent quite a bit of time with my hand down my pants fishing for the Bible. At that moment I knew theater was for me.

Who is more important in the theater: the actor, the playwright, or the director?
They are all equally important. Theater is like a house of cards. If one contributor is considered more important or has more weight the whole structure falls. The Mad Ones create work collectively blurring the traditional lines between actors, playwrights, and director. I'm ultimately an actor in The Mad Ones' shows but I'm also a co-creator/playwright on the production.

How did you meet your fellow artists/collaborators on this show?
We met over the years through being Apprentices at Actors Theatre of Louisville. It was the perfect place to meet because of Actors Theatre's emphasis on New American plays. We were able to see how the best companies and playwrights in the country create new work.

Which “S” word best describes your show: SMOOTH, SEXY, SMART, SURPRISING?
Sexy. A lot of sexy things happen in roadside motels.

Can theater bring about societal change? Why or why not?
I think some theater can bring about societal change. The Laramie Project of course has been done throughout this country on all levels from community theater to college to professional and its impact on those who perform in it and see it can be profound and effect change. That being said, I think that a lot of times too much pressure is put on theatre and art in general to be "important" or have a "purpose." I think this pressure can stunt artistic exploration. Above all I think theater should entertain. I'm not trying to change the world- that always seems to have a bit of hubris attached to it.