He/She and Me
nytheatre.com q&a preview by Robert W. Drake
September 15, 2012
What is your job on this show?
Director & Stage Manager.
What type of theater do you like most to work on?
I love working on theater that can force people to take a side. The magic of theater is to take you into places immediately you might not otherwise get. Theater confronts. I really like creating experiences for the audience that make them do some mental work and make a decision. I love hearing audiences say "That show was great! Now we have to go to a bar and fight about!"
What are some of your previous theater credits? (Be specific! Name shows, etc.)
The show that was most fun for me to create was 'The Ira Glass Menagerie' which spoofed public radio. From making a classical music host go nuts during pledge week, to making fun of 'A Prairie Home Companion' the show was just a ton of fun to put together. In addition, I've directed world premieres from Hank Kimmel and Sharon Mathis, and overseen productions of 'Copenhagen', 'Oleanna', and 'Art'. I wrote a one man short play about the death penalty & the Troy Anthony Davis case that really spurred people to action. 'The Last Chair' is on youtube.
Do you think the audience will talk about your show for 5 minutes, an hour, or way into the wee hours of the night?
He/She & Me: A Love Story is the kind of show that people will discuss for days. Marriage is tough enough, but when your spouse switches genders, all kinds of questions explode immediately. Should you stay? Can you leave religiously? Are you still one soul? These are questions that require big time post show discussion.
People who like which of the following recent Broadway shows would also probably like your show: THE BOOK OF MORMON, ONCE, DEATH OF A SALESMAN, CLYBOURNE PARK?
People who liked the 'Book of Mormom' will like out 'He/She & Me: A Love Story' as well. Though the context is different, the shows have parallels. How to be loyal and to whom one is loyal are both addresses with humor. Our key conventions, Religion & Marriage both receive similar attention.
Theater is a necessary ingredient in democratic societies. Do you agree or disagree, and why?
Theater is more important for diverse societies that aspire to Democracy than for more homogenous societies that already have Democratic traditions. Because the magic of theater is to bring the audience into new circumstances right away, theater is the best vehicle for intimately addressing conflict within a society and with in distinct social groups. The understanding derived from this kind of experience is essential for Democracies to work!