Shelly's Spherical Journey
nytheatre.com q&a preview by Cassandra Victoria Chopourian
July 28, 2012
What is your job on this show?
Creator / Performer.
What type of theater do you like most to work on?
I'm committed to working almost exclusively on new works or brave new adaptations. There is something so uncomfortable but rewarding about setting about to look for something that you can't fully even imagine yet. So you look for this little something here, and sometimes that leads to a much greater discovery - or you say "no, that's not quite it" and move onto a new little something. And in the end, you end up with a Thing beyond your expectations. I imagine it's like having a child, who turns out with this personality that you couldn't possibly have dreamed up. A collaborative process to me is key in this - all these minds contributing in their unique, and often bizarre, ways...a door opens where I only saw a wall before. And then, wow, we're walking through walls and finding strange new worlds - and this new piece is becoming, becoming, becoming itself.
Complete this sentence: My show is the only one in FringeNYC that...?
...has a slow motion Moth and Squirrel dance set to a live fake-Circassian song.
In your own words, what do you think this show is about? What will audiences take away with them after seeing it?
It's about personal change - small and large. It asks questions about success and failure. I think, I hope, that each audience member will leave with their own thoughts and feelings about Shelly's experience.
Which famous New Jerseyite would like your show the best: Snooki, Bruce Springsteen, Thomas Edison?
I really hope the Boss would like it. I'm so fond of his music. He seems to have such heart and integrity, and he's not afraid to be earnest. He sings about life, about regular people. I think he'd dig this show, this story. I can picture him singing a song about Shelly, actually. That would be a good one.
How important is diversity to you in the theater you see/make?
I want to respond to this broadly - speaking of a diversity of ideas (which is really what we're talking about anyway when we speak of ethnic/racial/gender/age/etc. diversity). It's sooooooo important! There are massive forces out there doing their best to make everyone think as much alike as possible. It's true! To make us their consumer-slaves or just to control us as political subjects - and even that is all intertwined. So we have to be vigilant, I think, about really seeing the world with our own eyes, thinking for ourselves, paying attention to ideas and where they come from. Ideas shape the way we see the world. So theater is amazing because it can talk about ideas by showing another way to see the world, indeed by showing another world.