Linda Lovely Goes To Broadway
nytheatre.com q&a preview by Ann Morrison
September 22, 2012
What is your job on this show?
Playwright and actor..
When did you know you wanted to work in the theater, and why?
I was blessed with musical theatre parents, on the college professor level, but none-the-less, theatre was everywhere in my growing-up. My father was a music professor teaching every aspect of music.He was a composer and was a combination of Danny Kaye and Victor Borge as a teacher. My mother taught movement in the theatre, choreographed, directed, was a librettist, playwright, visual artist, and my folks wrote three ballets, three musicals and one opera, art songs and just had fun together creating. My house was a house filled with collaboration and co-operation. I thought that was normal. I was dragged kicking and screaming into the theatre, kicking like Martha Graham and screaming like Ethel Merman. I loved it! I would spend most of my days as a little girl lip-syncing to musical theatre albums for hours and was disappointed sometimes when I saw one of those musicals later that it wasn't how I saw it in my head. I knew at 5 I was going to live in front of a live audience. And as a dyslexic, that was a challenge. Especially since they didn't know what dyslexia was while I was in school. I hated school! But the theatre saved my life. I have had a passion also to save other children's live through the theatre as well and since I felt musical theatre was a whole brain experience, so much the better. I have done Broadway and the West End in London, all fine, but when I created a theatre program for persons with developmental disabilities my real love for theatre grew. It was working so intensely with these dear people that I found my writing voice. Assisting them in the writing of their own plays and musicals I developed the courage to create my own. So my up-bringing empowered my life as performer, teacher, directed, creator, healer, monologist and and and... I love my life!
Why is this piece a solo play (rather than a multi-actor play)?
I enjoy writing but I think because of the way my brain views language I can't imagine someone sitting down to read what I write. It kind of has to come out of a sound. I have singing and music in everything I write. Add that I adore solo plays, monologues and storytelling, I just naturally write hearing one person voicing many possibilities and characters. I find the narrator or "bard" in my pieces fascinating. They become a character making a discovery as a story unfolds. I could turn my pieces into multi-actor plays but for me the morphing into different characters and realities by one performer is the magic.
In your own words, what do you think this show is about? What will audiences take away with them after seeing it?
"Linda Lovely Goes To Broadway" came from an extraordinary period in my life where I co-created and worked with persons with Developmental disabilities creating theatre with them and watching the experience of it change their lives. I could write many solo plays on all the characters I encounter through out the years. But this one particular creative soul, a little woman with Down syndrome capture my heart in a profound way and became a dear friend. I watched her sadly disappear into the Alzheimer's shadow. Her passing has deeply impacted my world. But this is not what the play is about. It follows her creative mind as she visits her theatrical past through the shades of dimness that pass within LInda's eyes while traveling to NY with her parents and mentor to view her musical she created for her local theatre company now being performed by Broadway actors for a fundraiser. Linda had a mission, a message to give, and it was completely obscured from the rest of the fellow travelers. And that is where the more fun comes in. Also while the audience experiences her art, Linda is seeing a different show and quite surprises us all with her other worldly view. Audiences who have seen this piece have said the play is charming, intense,thought provoking and fun! There is a disconnect in our society to the population of persons with developmental disabilities, a misconception and pity than gets challenged in this piece. People have told me they walk away with a different world view and an opportunity to feel better about themselves. People who like to be passive observers in theatre will be challenged. I don't like to insult my audience's intelligence. This play is very poetic, musical and dance-like. One of the messages is about simplicity and yet there is nothing simple about this play. I have so much fun being with my friend again and again and this petite little sages still teaches me.
Groucho, Chico, Harpo, or Zeppo?
Who are your heroes?
Joseph Campbell, Maya Angelou, Pete Seegers, LInda Lovely.