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Sin In The City

nytheatre.com q&a preview by Ashley J. Jacobson
January 9, 2013

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

What is your show about?
Sin in the City is a festival featuring seven brand new 10-minute plays written 24 hours earlier by daring and salacious playwrights; each play is centered on one deadly sin and set in modern New York City.

What type of theater do you like most to work on?
I like to work on anything that feels out on the edge. I guess most of the things I like would fit with the New York 'downtown' aesthetic, but anything that feels new, unusual and presents a different point of view is what I'm looking for. I'm a sucker for the classics, and I will watch a musical any day and LOVE it. But when it comes down to the kind of theater I want to CREATE and be a part of, I like my theater like I like my people: strange, challenging and uniquely beautiful.

Why do you do theater (as opposed to film, or TV, or something not in the entertainment field)?
Theater, of all the methods and means of creative communication, is the most complete living animal. Creating theater is giving birth to a living, sentient and complex animal - it can encompass all other art forms in such an immediate and spontaneous way that there is nothing like it. I love film and TV, and all art, but there's something about working on a live theater performance that feels like the closest thing to being God. You literally give birth to a new universe with its own physics and time and people, and every performance is a whole new universe. When it is over, it is like seeing something die. It's incredible. I'm an addict.

Why did you want to write/direct/produce/act in/work on this show?
This is the second 24-hour festival produced by my company, The Dirty Blondes. I am so excited for it because the first one was such a lovely adventure. I was so thrilled with the level of artistry and the spontaneous genius that came out of all the new artists we were so grateful to work with. Sin in the City has the ability to be so much bigger and better than the first festival, and I'm chomping at the bit to see what we come up with. I think it's going to be such a fun party, and already looking at the people who have applied to participate, I know we will bring together a stellar group and create something that has never been seen before and will never be seen again.

Which “S” word best describes your show: SMOOTH, SEXY, SMART, SURPRISING?
All of the above. Is that cheating? Ok. Because of the nature of the festival, I have to say SURPRISING. When you put unusual artists together in uncertain circumstances and under an insane deadline, AMAZING things happen. It's about catching that spark and turning it into a fire that blazes out very quickly. Its about watching artists go to the extremes and push themselves to the very limit and reach to the ends of their imaginations - and its all instant and spontaneous. It's not over-rehearsed, or over-edited, or polished or even practiced. It literally is a firework of theater - burns bright and spontaneously and then is never seen again.

Can theater bring about societal change? Why or why not?
Absolutely theater can bring about social change. Any kind of public gathering, protest or movement IS a form of theater. Protests are performances, and performances are protests. Theater is a method of art that changes consciousness; it presents new alternatives, or exposes realities that FORCE people to at least entertain new ways of thinking. And if you can faciliate open-mindedness and get people to think something different than they had before, you are changing society. Just by making someone laugh, you are changing society. Every play or theater performance becomes part of the ether, the public sphere and is inherently political in nature.