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Lucy Loves Me

nytheatre.com q&a preview by Migdalia Cruz
January 24, 2013

What is your job on this show?
playwright.

What is your show about?
LUCY LOVES ME is a triptych of love, loneliness and assimilation hinged together by the unexpected things that a man, a woman, and her mother force each other to reveal.

When did you know you wanted to work in the theater, and why?
When I was in first grade, in P.S. 58, in the Bronx, at the height of the Civil rights movement, I wrote a puppet show about Klansmen trying to lynch a smoker. The smoker lit his cigarette and then threw the match at the Klansmen who were represented by white tissues—and poof! the man escapes and the Klan burns...I knew then that theater was the most effective way to spark social change.

Why do you do theater (as opposed to film, or TV, or something not in the entertainment field)?
I like to hear & feel actors breathing. It is human, reassuring and closer to the truth. And, also, If I didn't write plays, I would disappear. There is also a sense of community and family that working on a play gives you that is immediate and magical. In a rehearsal room, I stop being alone with my thoughts, my characters and all the words in my head. It is scary in there sometimes, but bringing a play from page to breath brings me balance.

Are there any cautions or warnings you’d like to make about the show (e.g., not appropriate for little kids)?
I have a warning for everyone: there is flesh and there is blood. Small children may be afraid. No one wins. Everyone learns. The inside of my head is a dark place.

Which cartoon character would you identify your show with: Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Mickey Mouse, Marge Simpson?
Definitely Daffy. His sputtering perseverance; relentless plotting, constant comparison to Bugs driving him nuts, his eerie & inexplicable loneliness. That's a lot like my characters...

Who are your heroes?
Fellini for his vision, Van Gogh for his reckless truth, those firemen who led my sisters & I out of a burning building on a cold South Bronx night in 1972 for bravery, Saint Bernadette of Lourdes for her humility & faith, Frida Kahlo for her relentless gaze, Flannery O'Connor for her dark wit, & Maria Irene Fornés for the world, for theater, for helping me find my voice.