nytheatre.com q&a preview by Robin Neveu Brown
July 25, 2012
What is your job on this show?
writer, director, choreographer, and performer.
When did you know you wanted to work in the theater, and why?
I spent my whole life from the age of 5 fully engulfed in the dance world. I took ballet, jazz, tap, and modern from a very young age, and even studied dance theory and history. I was being groomed to dance professionally and choreograph. While pursuing that destiny as a dance major at the University of Florida, I had my first opportunity to mix with the theatre world. All of my previous dance education took place in an incredibly isolated world, but as a student at UF’s School of Theatre and Dance, everything changed. My eyes were opened to new ways of reaching audiences on a daily basis, and I loved it. It was there that I met my husband, musical theatre actor Kevin Brown. In our junior year, Kevin produced and music directed a show called Oh, Brother Where Art Thou? inspired by the Coen brothers’ film. The piece incorporated theatre, music, dance/movement, and multimedia into a powerful, moving experience for the audience. And, fortunately for me, that’s how I experienced it: as an audience member. I was amazed as I sat alone in the dark of the theatre at how much I saw myself in the work. It’s as if each performer held a mirror up to me, exposing my inner thoughts and emotions. It showed me my own joy and my own sorrow. I think I’ve basically spent my life since as a theatre artist and choreographer chasing that feeling I had as an audience member of that show.
Why did you want to be part of FringeNYC?
As a person stuck for years straddling the line between dance and theatre, I saw FringeNYC as an opportunity to revel in my confused stance. While dance theatre is a useful label for my work, I prefer to think of myself as a thinker/mover. This will be my first foray into a festival that is predominately for theatre and I am thrilled to share my thoughts/movements with such an intelligent and open audience!
How did you meet your fellow artists/collaborators on this show?
My fellow performer and creative collaborator in Pare also fills both of those roles in my life. We’re married! Kevin and I met our freshman year of college at the University of Florida in Basic Ballet. He would stand behind me at the barre and check me out while I would giggle at his comedic antics. We rehearsed together in the school’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream the next year, Kevin playing Nick Bottom and I a fairy. The show then toured to Russia for two weeks that summer, and that’s where we fell in love. We have been inseparable since. Through the years, we have each pursued our own respective careers in theatre and dance while still making time to collaborate on special projects that matter to us both. Pare is one such project that has been a part of our relationship for four years now. In this movement theatre duet, we explore a more broken and volatile relationship between husband and wife than our own, but through our work we have learned so much about ourselves and each other.
Which famous New Jerseyite would like your show the best: Snooki, Bruce Springsteen, Thomas Edison?
Thomas Edison. Pare and its lighting design, by Matt Wharton, are indivisible. While the male character stews over circuitry issues, the upstage wall is lined with household lamps without shades, exposing the bulb. The mess of cords and wires hooked to these lamps is unhidden. Pare is filled with circuits, light, and switches.