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Buried Alive! a matchbox theatre

nytheatre.com q&a preview by Deborah Kaufmann
September 24, 2012

What is your job on this show?
Creator, Performer.

When did you know you wanted to work in the theater, and why?
I started performing at age 3 when I choreographed my first dance to "Morning" from Grieg's Peer Gynt Suite. I took a detour into fine art, but came back to performing. Being in front of an audience feels like being home.

Why do you do theater (as opposed to film, or TV, or something not in the entertainment field)?
I thrive on the intimacy between actor and audience. Other forms of performance separate the actor from them. I love to take my audience on a journey--emotional, psychological or geographical. I do not see that I have a choice of profession--maybe I could have been a nurse?

Why did you want to write/direct/produce/act in/work on this show?
I found an article entitled, "Pediatric Brain Death" in a hospital on-call room. It discussed the ethics of determining "When is a person dead?" and detailed the gruesome history of our quest to answer that question. It struck me that we still do not really know the answer. It is even more important now that we are harvesting organs. I had the article for 15 years, adding more research--books like, Buried Alive" by Bonderson and articles and publications from the 19th Century.

Which famous New Jerseyite would like your show the best: Snooki, Bruce Springsteen, Thomas Edison?
Thomas Edison would like this show. It contains some horrifying experiments and a bit of fun with electricity.

Can theater bring about societal change? Why or why not?
I believe that theater can change people's hearts. We can be inspired to laugh at ourselves, feel empathy or rage. Being part of an audience is a safe place to come to agreement, even with people you might never encounter otherwise.