nytheatre.com q&a preview by Tim Butterfield
September 26, 2012
What is your job on this show?
Where were you born? Where were you raised? Where did you go to school?
I was born in Phoenix, AZ, but please don't hold that against me. I grew up all over AZ and worked in the industry for a decade before moving to NY. I arrived in NY a little over six years ago. Knowing that I wanted and MFA in Directing, I figured I should get and undergraduate degree. I completed Brooklyn College's 4 year BA in Theater in 2 years. I immediately moved on to The New School for Drama and earned my MFA. Having earned two degrees in 5 years I was quite used to not sleeping so working Off-off Broadway was a natural fit.
Who is more important in the theater: the actor, the playwright, or the director?
Although theater is a playwright's medium, no role is more important than the others. Theater is greater than the sum of the individual parts. Directors need to lead, but also know when to stay out of the way of other artists and let their work enrich the show.
Why did you want to write/direct/produce/act in/work on this show?
There are elements of this play that feel like home to me, for better or worse. It's a play about wanting what you cannot have, about the restlessness in one's soul that comes from unrequited love, romantic, familial, or oddly both. The landscape of this play is filled with images from my childhood and the characters, as in all Shepard plays, are masterfully crafted and always act from a cavernous well of emotion.
Groucho, Chico, Harpo, or Zeppo?
Groucho, always Groucho.
If you had ten million dollars that you had to spend on theatrical endeavors, how would you use the money?
I would use the money to produce the work of young playwrights in venues and for audiences they would not normally have access to. My company, Straphanger Collective, is dedicated to helping young writers find their voice and develop their process.