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Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812

nytheatre.com q&a preview by Mimi Lien
October 12, 2012

What is your job on this show?
Scenic Designer.

When did you know you wanted to work in the theater, and why?
For my undergrad thesis in architecture, I decided to design a cemetery. It ended up being not so much about burial, but more like a built environment comprised of a sequence of rooms that the mourners traveled through, and I named the different spaces Act 1, Act 2, etc. I didn’t know it at the time, but what I now realize is that I wanted to design ‘fictionalarchitecture.’ A few years later, I realized that I could do this in the theater.

What was the last show you saw that really excited you, and why?
The last show that really blew me away was actually one that I worked on—it’s called ZERO COST HOUSE, and it was a collaboration between Pig Iron Theatre Company and playwright Toshiki Okada. It’s basically an autobiography of Okada, and uses Thoreau’s Walden as a jumping-off point. The amazing thing about the play, something I haven’t really seen on stage in quite the same way, is the total honesty and simplicity of the event.

Do you think the audience will talk about your show for 5 minutes, an hour, or way into the wee hours of the night?
If the audience is anything like me, they’ll be humming the songs in the shower for days after the show...

Which famous New Jerseyite would like your show the best: Snooki, Bruce Springsteen, Thomas Edison?
Bruce.

Who are your heroes?
William Kentridge, Yoko Ono, Barack Obama