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Final Defenders

nytheatre.com q&a preview by Amy Overman
July 8, 2013

What is your job on this show?
Actor/Producer.

What is your show about?
The Last Starfighter meets Galaxy Quest in an out of this world adventure for all ages!

What do you do when you’re not working on a play?
Well, as Artistic Director of Dysfunctional Theatre Company, even if I'm not in rehearsal or production for a play, I'm usually working on development, pre- or post-production for something. But I also like to knit.

Complete this sentence: My show is the only one opening in NYC this summer that...?
Has references to both Metroid and Grease 2. Also, it's about videogames and passes the Bechdel test - we're not positive it's the only show that can make this claim, but our playwright, Pat Storck, is pretty proud of it.

What is one specific thing that you hope audiences will realize you’ve contributed to the production?
Our training montage/dance break. My part in this is quite small (and I am not a great dancer) - it's the great work of our choreographer, Nicole Lee Aiossa, which is really on display here, so it's unlikely anyone would realize that I contributed much at all. But the original idea to put a dance number into the show was mine, and I'm pretty proud of that.

Which famous person would you most like to get a fan letter from: Denzel Washington, Maggie Smith, Ang Lee, Audra McDonald?
Maggie Smith. She can say more with a single look than some people can with a page long monologue. Also, her performance in "Murder By Death" was a huge influence on my character in "Final Defenders" (a time traveling alien), so a fan letter from her for my work on Defenders would be amazing.

Why are theater festivals so very important?
Theater festivals bring theater to new audiences - at the Opening Night Cabaret for the Game Play festival, almost 2/3's of the audience had never been to the Brick before. Festivals also make it easier for new producers and theater companies to produce their work - it's a very supportive environment to take risks both artistically and financially. Production values for indietheater in terms of sets, costumes, etc., are getting higher and higher - which on one hand is great, but on the other hand can be very intimidating to smaller or newer companies. Festivals help to level out the playing field.