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Vestiges

nytheatre.com q&a preview by Rayka Kobiella
July 12, 2013

What is your job on this show?
Playwright and Director..

What is your show about?
Vestiges is a radical comedy about the hypocrisy of the western world and their everyday people, loosing their grip.

When did you know you wanted to work in the theater, and why?
I went to see Art by Yasmina Reeza with my high school class when I was 16 years old. Unfortunately, the staging was very bad and while my classmates were falling asleep, it really woke me up. I almost couldn't resist running on stage to discuss improving the show with the actors and directing them in a way that would do this wonderful play justice. It took me a while to realize that this was a profession and called directing. I was thrilled at this discovery!

Are audiences in New York City different from audiences in other cities/countries where you’ve performed? If so, how?
I'm from Germany originally and I think that New York audiences are in fact very different from the ones at home. I find them much more open-minded and curious. At the same time, I can tell through their reactions that they are used to a different theatre tradition, which results in occasional confusions about my writing and directing style. For example, I realized that New York audiences are very accustomed to happy endings, which hardly ever occur in my plays as I don't believe in them. Further, German audiences are usually a little shy and distant. During my last production in NYC, I was positively surprised about the enthusiastic audience, that would stay after the end of the show, asking me questions and wanting to talk about it. I loved it! They gave me the most direct feedback I've ever received – certainly one of the reasons why I enjoy making theatre in New York!

Why did you want to write/direct/produce/act in/work on this show?
There are many reasons why I wrote Vestiges, and why I also wanted to direct it myself: the supposed superiority of the western world towards the poorer countries, the false belief that our world and our current life style will remain as they are, the financial system (which I don't like), our powerlessness towards the current state of the world, the hypocrisy of the people and racists, who are thinking of themselves as open minded. In short: I'm annoyed at the world as it is. That's why I had to write a dark comedy, a satire, a farce about these topics. Vestiges is set in a near future after the collapse of the western world. The only place still inhabitable is in Siberia – home of the Vestiges. And here comes the surprise: somehow the trendy and successful Vestiges aren't happy at all to be the new home to the refugees from Europe and America... Do unto others as they did unto you...isn't it?

Which character from a Shakespeare play would like your show the best: King Lear, Puck, Rosalind, or Lady Macbeth -- and why?
Puck – definitely! Puck loves to confuse people around him and plays tricks on them all the time. That actually fits very well to Vestiges.

Who are your heroes?
Everyday people, who are honest to themselves, able to reflect and do not lose themselves in this world. People, who aren't afraid to provoke.