nytheatre.com q&a preview by Pamela Sabaugh
July 23, 2012
What is your job on this show?
Where were you born? Where were you raised? Where did you go to school?
I was born in Detroit, and grew up in a subdivision just north of the city. Of course being legally blind I couldn't drive, and growing up under those circumstances is largely what "Immaculate Degeneration" is about.
Have you been part of FringeNYC in the past? If so, how did you particpate? (Be specific! Name shows, etc.)
The first play I wrote - "Woman in the Animal Kingdom" - was accepted to the Fringe way back in 2000, and that was a great experience for me - for one thing I met my husband on that show who is now directing this play. After that I acted in a play by Alex Dinelaris called "The Chaos Theories" in 2004, followed by "Another Day on Willow Street" by Frank Anthony Polito in 2007. And then the next year I directed a zany musical comedy called "Cruisin' to Croatia" by Pete Mikochik.
Why did you want to write/direct/produce/act in/work on this show?
The experience of living with an invisible disability is not something that can be summed up easily. My behavior is often misinterpreted: people who meet me and don't know about my lack of vision often misinterpret my behavior - from thinking I'm aloof and shy to drunk or stoned at times. All my life I've searched for just the right way to sum up my existence as a place somewhere between blind and sighted, and this play is the result.
Which famous New Jerseyite would like your show the best: Snooki, Bruce Springsteen, Thomas Edison?
He's a guy who grew up in Michigan and moved East just like me, so I have to pick Thomas Edison. He was also hearing-impaired, which isn't vision-impaired, but he could probably relate to some of the things I go through in this show.
How important is diversity to you in the theater you see/make?
People don't always think of disabilities when they think of diversity, but it offers its own unique way of the seeing the world. I've been cast as both blind and sighted characters, but characters with my specific level of vision-impairment don't really exist unless I write them. The human experience is vast, colorful, and complicated, and that should all be celebrated.