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CHOP

nytheatre.com q&a preview by Brad McEntire
July 13, 2012

What is your job on this show?
playwright/performer.

When did you know you wanted to work in the theater, and why?
I liked to draw when I was a kid and thought I'd be a cartoonist when I grew up. Had no interest in theatre. In high school, I had a crush on a girl in the theatre department and joined a class. I was hooked. The theatre bug bit hard! I never got to date that girl, but I did stay with theatre. Been writing, performing, what-have-you since then. Oh, and I still draw comics, too.

Have you been part of FringeNYC in the past? If so, how did you particpate? (Be specific! Name shows, etc.)
This will be my fourth time at FringeNYC. In 2000 I produced a show called SLICK KADMON V. GOD by Chip Loser. In 2001 I presented my own comedy RED PAJAMA BLUES. In 2005 I directed and produced Andy Eninger's one-man show THE LAST CASTRATO. I'm pleased to return this year with CHOP which I wrote and will be performing myself.

In your own words, what do you think this show is about? What will audiences take away with them after seeing it?
CHOP concerns a man who is incredibly isolated from the world around him. There's a layer of glass, it seems, between him and all the happy, engaged, productive people he observes around him. Then he meets a mysterious tattooed woman who introduces him to an underground amputation fetish group. He finally feels a sense of belonging. I think the show is several things. It is weird and funny and spontaneous. CHOP is about growth and identity. It is about potential. And there is a really charming, heartfelt love story underpinning the whole thing. My hope is that audiences will come away feeling that they have taken in a full experience of theatre, you know, gone on a journey with the piece. I also hope they head off and have strong drink and stronger discussions after the show about the lengths we all go to for love, acceptance, place and belonging.

Groucho, Chico, Harpo, or Zeppo?
What are you kidding? Groucho.

How important is diversity to you in the theater you see/make?
If you mean seeing different races, genders, lifestyles and the like represented on the stage, then I'm for it, but I don't think of it as a big deal. I am a huge champion of individual theatre artists having individual points of view. I think the theatre, and therefore the greater culture, would be a better place if more and more theatre artists considered themselves more as creative artists rather than merely interpretive. There would be more voices and, naturally, more diversity in those voices, if theatre artists on the whole (especially directors and actors) instigated their own projects rather than waited to be given someone else's vision to interpret. That's my two cents anyway...