On the Future
nytheatre.com q&a preview by Rob Neill
September 28, 2012
What is your job on this show?
Director & Curator.
What type of theater do you like most to work on?
Most of what I have been doing recently is based in Neo-Futurism and ensemble created shows, and I find it exciting to work on theater that activates the artists and the audience--in the theater and after the show. Having the community, engaging in dialogue, forcing us all to think, blurring the boundaries--stage/seats; performer/audience--we are all in it together.
What was the last show you saw that really excited you, and why?
'Uncle Vanya' at Soho Rep. I loved the way it was staged with the audience sitting about space, the 'dacha'--right there with the actors--the show happening all around the audience. And several of the performances we so specific, subtle yet thrilling (plus I certainly enjoyed having a shot of vodka at intermission...). That show excited, taught & moved me!
How did you meet your fellow artists/collaborators on this show?
We are all New York Neo-Futurists for this show (so at one point or another everyone auditioned for the NY Neos). 'On the Future' is the first show for this season in our company's exploration neo-futuristically into theme & form. We chose the Future for our theme (and in the spring puppetry as the form for 'Soft Hydraulics') and then 9 of us from our ensemble collaborated to create 6 plays (and some interstitial short films) for the show.
Which famous New Jerseyite would like your show the best: Snooki, Bruce Springsteen, Thomas Edison?
Thomas Edison most definitely, as we are dealing with provocative (and personal) questions about the Future (and the past)--what sustains us, what moves us forward, what can destroy us; how to possibly prepare. We ask questions in the show that I think he would be very interested in. Plus we play with how we light things, talk about lights, use different kinds of lights & even talk/delve in some time travel...in On the Future we do get a little science-y and at times dabble in a bit of sci-fi.
Theater is a necessary ingredient in democratic societies. Do you agree or disagree, and why?
Theater is necessary in all societies. To tell the stories, our stories, their stories--to give voice. To inform. To relate a history. To inspire. To further/start the conversation. To bring about change. To provide a release. Maybe it does not do all those things equally, every time, everywhere, but it can be more than entertainment (not that it has to be); it is a force.