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The Misanthrope

nytheatre.com q&a preview by Ryan Whinnem
July 8, 2013

What is your job on this show?
Director.

What is your show about?
A melding between Moliere and Modern, a hipster version of the Misanthrope.

What type of theater do you like most to work on?
I have shifted in the past few years from classical texts to collaborative performances. What is great about working on The Misanthrope is that it has allowed me to implement techniques developed in the collaborative setting onto a classical text. The result is something vibrant and fresh.

Complete this sentence: My show is the only one opening in NYC this summer that...?
has people using their cellphones as musical instruments.

Why did you want to write/direct/produce/act in/work on this show?
Well, obviously, the people working on the show (Hunger and Thirst) are amazing to work with... but in the larger picture - there's a reason that this play has survived the centuries. And I relish the challenge of bringing that universality to a modern audience.

Which famous person would you most like to get a fan letter from: Denzel Washington, Maggie Smith, Ang Lee, Audra McDonald?
Oliver Platt.

Can theater bring about societal change? Why or why not?
The answer is yes, obviously, of course. Theater is one of (if, arguably, THE one) the art forms where people *have* to work together to get a finished product. You can't merely have one voice. With the world diminishing in size, it's become easier and easier to collaborate with people from across the world who we may not have been able to 25 years ago. Theater is the story of its peoples, and we, as theater artists, are given the privelege of being able to write, to tell, to live these stories.