nytheatre.com q&a preview by Christian Amato
August 13, 2012
What is your job on this show?
Director and Producer.
When did you know you wanted to work in the theater, and why?
At the risk of sounding cliche, I am almost positive that my first family trip to Disney World is what sparked my love for the theatre. I was five, and I remember volunteering to participate in all the interactive performances. I realized that I had a love for stories. I enjoyed listening to them and telling them. Participating in all those events intrigued me. I admired the performer's ability to transport an audience. The idea of taking people on a journey has always inspired me. When my family and I got back to the city, my parents enrolled me in my first acting class. That is when I felt my first connection to what I wanted to do with my life.
Who is more important in the theater: the actor, the playwright, or the director?
Truthfully, in a production, no one is more important than the other. With The Theatre Project, all concepts are discussed and opinions are shared. Our productions are shaped from an artist-driven environment, as opposed to one heavy decision. I believe that everyone has the right to contribute and I embrace multiple perspectives. This allows us to form a richer world for the show to exist in! That being said while I believe all members of a creative team should be treated as an equal, without a playwright, I as a director would not have plays to stage!
What was the most memorable/funny/unusual thing that has happened during the development and rehearsal process for this show?
"Barbicide" has been in development for a year now, and the process began in August 2011, when Sean Pomposello and I first toyed with the idea. By October, Sean had a few scenes written. I had been producing a reading series called "Universal Monsters." At the last minute, we put the first pages of "Barbicide" in. The reading went great! My favorite moment is hearing the audience finally get that the play is a modern reflection on Sweeney Todd. At the reading, people were enjoying themselves, but at the moment of revelation, an audible acknowledgement is made that is pretty funny and pleasing. Audience members watch with intent, and then there is a gasp that says, "I know what this is. This is great. This is smart." This past Spring we performed a series of readings, of the completed script, in a barber shop. The environment really added to the growth of the piece. Audiences still had that audible reaction when they saw the barbershop series. We started having a real strong feeling that we were on to something!
Which “S” word best describes your show: SMOOTH, SEXY, SMART, SURPRISING?
Smooth. Without a doubt. "Barbicide" is inspired by beat poetry and organized crime. There is a natural suave attitude that emits from the dialogue. We couldn't be in a better location for this piece as well. MacDougal Street has lived a interesting history that compliments our production.
Who are your heroes?
There are a lot of people that I would consider to be a hero of mine. Though, anyone who has supported me in life is most certainly my hero. I also feel that my creative team as a whole are my biggest heroes. The energy they bring forth to their work is inspiring and overwhelming. Their attitude provides me with the desire to create!