nytheatre.com q&a preview by Nic Grelli
July 10, 2012
What is your job on this show?
What was the last show you saw that really excited you, and why?
I can't say that I get truly "excited" by a lot of theatre these days. So instead I will mention plays that I've seen over the last ten years that have helped me maintain my hope in things to come, in no particular order and if you don't know them, look them up, they are all rocking and unique: Seed by Radha Blank, Black Diamond by J. Nicole Brooks, Jerusalem by Jeff Butterworth, Manboobs by J Julian Christopher, Animals Commit Suicide by J Julian Christopher,Chimichangas and Zoloft by Fernanda Coppel, Pussy by Fernanda Coppel, Mr Rickey Calls a Meeting (Lookingglass Theatre 2012 production directed by J Nicole Brooks), Bill T Jones' Fela! Passing Strange by Stew, In The Heights by Lin Manuel Miranda, MilkMilkLemondade by Joshua Conkel, All American Genderfuck Cabaret by Mariah MacCarthy, Our Lady of 121st St by Stephen Adly Guirgis, Peter and the Starcatcher, The Resistable Rise of Arturo Ui (National Theatre Production starring Al Pacino), The Lieutenant of Inishmore by Martin McDonough, Joanne Akalaitis' production of Harold Pinter's The Birthday Party, Mary/Stuart (at the Woolly Mammoth Theatre), Diary of a Madman at Bam starring Geoffrey Rush, They Killed Boo Boo? by Maggie Bofill, Argonautika by Mary Zimmerman
Have you been part of FringeNYC in the past? If so, how did you particpate? (Be specific! Name shows, etc.)
I have been a participant of three prior fringes. (note to self, name a character in my sci-fi screenplay Prior Fringe before some other nerd does. Intellectual Property suckas!) Where was I? Oh right. I was in the Montreal Fringe. I suggest doing any of the international Fringe's. I only ever hear wonderful things. And I had a blast at Montreal. I did a drag competition to help promote our show and got ridiculously accidentally drunk while doing so (and many horridly awesome Facebook photos to prove it) and they had a 1am live talk show/meet and greet for the whole fringe community every night where people could do live commercials for their shows and where all the casts and crews mingled. and we ate way to much poutine. My NYC Fringe actor cherry got popped by Mariah MacCarthy last year in Ampersand: A Romeo and Juliet Story where I played Paris. We had a damn blast and we got to perform in the enormous and beautiful main stage at LaMama, and as a kid that studied Experimental Theatre through college, that was kinda the dopeness. And even further back, I got my directing debut and my Fringe debut in NYC Fringe helming a production of Nidia Medina's "Every Love Story Ends in Tears" at Here Arts Center. That show is very dear to my heart. I learned an incredible amount and I had the pleasure of the most delightful and talented cast and crew you could imagine. All of whom I'm still in contact and most of whom I still work with frequently. And so now, to be back at Here Arts with Magic Trick is extra special. And feels full circle.
Do you think the audience will talk about your show for 5 minutes, an hour, or way into the wee hours of the night?
i am gonna go with C) the wee hours. (does that term derive from the fact that we often go "wee" in the late hours of the night. or at least i do. almost always at 430am) Because I've worked on Magic Trick with Mariah for a while now and even still, when I've thought about the play and the character so much, it still surprises me. I see at every turn how Mariah's characters make the choices they make, even when they are disastrous ones. There is this palpable struggle in her characters of people wrestling with the difference between following one's impulses and following one's heart. How to love but not be trapped. How to be loyal but also be free. How we limit ourselves by our own definitions. I refer to things I've learned working on Mariah's work often when i go through my "frame of reference emergency guide" during challenging times. And in the wee hours, I have found myself discussing this play with people. And I discuss things with wonderful, lovely people, much like all you lovely wonderful people who see our show, who therefore, I must presume will also talk about it into your wee hours. Even while you wee.
Which famous New Jerseyite would like your show the best: Snooki, Bruce Springsteen, Thomas Edison?
I would say that Mariah's plays are each like a Bruce Springsteen song. "Glory Days" for Genderfuck. "Hungry Heart" for Foreplay Play (which we sang in it) "Fire" for Ampersand. "Dancing in the Dark" for Magic Trick.
How important is diversity to you in the theater you see/make?
It is the most important thing, because it is the world we live in. We make theater to teach how we are and how to be. And how we are is diverse. You cannot take on the big questions without embracing and honoring diversity. Otherwise you are not making theatre, but diversions.