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VACUUM

nytheatre.com q&a preview by Arlene Hutton
July 25, 2012

What is your job on this show?
playwright.

What was the last show you saw that really excited you, and why?
I'm writing this from an artist's colony and the day before I left NYC I saw UNCLE VANYA at Soho Rep and can't stop thinking about it. It made me see a familiar play with new eyes, much like the OUR TOWN at Barrow Street did. (I'm in Peterborough, NH, at the moment, where Wilder wrote OUR TOWN, so it's on my mind...)

Have you been part of FringeNYC in the past? If so, how did you particpate? (Be specific! Name shows, etc.)
This is my fifth production at FringeNYC! I was at the very first Fringe, in 1997, with some one acts, and my play LAST TRAIN TO NIBROC premiered at FringeNYC before moving to 78th Street Theatre Lab and then Off-Broadway. It was the first Fringe show to move, before Urinetown. In 2010 RUNNING premiered and was selected for Fringe Encores. Last year my commissioned play HAPPY WORST DAY EVER was presented at FringeJr. FringeNYC has been a great place to develop new works!

How did you meet your fellow artists/collaborators on this show?
Director Chris Goutman and I worked together at Alice's Fourth Floor years ago and I'm delighted that he was available for VACUUM. Emmy-winning costume designer Maggie Delgado and I were in college together. I met actress Dana Brooke at B Street Theatre, where she was performing my NIBROC TRILOGY. Polly Adams and I met at Ensemble Studio Theatre and I've written several plays with her in mind. Chris Stack was cast in the first workshop of VACUUM at EST. Lynne Halliday and I met at CSC years ago. And I saw Katie Huard's remarkable Stella in Charleston and suggested that our director see her. And David Arrow has been a part of VACUUM from the beginning. We met at the Edinburgh Festival!

Which “S” word best describes your show: SMOOTH, SEXY, SMART, SURPRISING?
all of the above!

If you had ten million dollars that you had to spend on theatrical endeavors, how would you use the money?
To paraphrase Dolly Levi (I really am in a Thornton Wilder mood!): "Money is like manure. It's no good unless you spread it around." I would donate money to all the members of ART/NY and spread it around. And to the places who have supported my work: New Dramatists, The Lark, New Harmony Project, The Barrow Group, Ensemble Studio Theatre.... and FringeNYC!