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King Executioner

nytheatre.com q&a preview by Vit Horejs
February 15, 2013

What is your job on this show?
Playwright and director.

What is your show about?
Puppets and live performers enact an enigmatic World War II love story.

What type of theater do you like most to work on?
These days I can hardly imagine working on a theatre piece without puppets, preferably marionettes. It allows for a tremendous depth, monologues become inner dialogues. It makes good actors into excellent actors. And using marionettes of different sizes allows me to create cinematic effects onstage: longshots and close ups, zooms and varied angles for the audience. I enjoy the grand illusion created by the visible actors and their puppets, both portraying the same character in the play.

Complete this sentence: My show is the only one opening in NYC this winter that...?
mixes live performers with exquisite wooden marionettes.

How did you meet your fellow artists/collaborators on this show?
There is a core company of actors/puppeteers that I met by word of mouth sixteen years ago and I am still working with them now. For this play, besides the core company members, we auditioned for a few characters--I really do hate auditions--and there were so many good actors it was hard to choose among them. This is my third project with composer, Frank London (of the Klezmatics), whom I first worked with fourteen years ago. We work together very well, as we have learned each other’s strengths. The same goes for the Prague based marionette carver, Jakub "Kuba" Krejci, who has designed and carved wooden marionettes for seven of our shows. I enjoy working with a consistent, smart team of artists, and over the years our collaborations have grown into a special family.

Which “S” word best describes your show: SMOOTH, SEXY, SMART, SURPRISING?
SEXY AND SURPRISING

If you had ten million dollars that you had to spend on theatrical endeavors, how would you use the money?
I've gone as far as to make a budget in case I'd win the lottery: building a 200-seat theatre where we could run our shows for two or three months, rather then three or four weeks as we do now. I 've been also dreaming about paying my core artists as "little" as teachers get. The problem is, I never buy lottery tickets.