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The Names

nytheatre.com q&a preview by Eli Moore
July 11, 2013

What is your job on this show?
Director.

What is your show about?
There is a moment when every name is called... Will you be ready to hear your name?

What type of theater do you like most to work on?
I am committed to working on theater that engages me like a true friend: not afraid of telling the truth; willing to raise the difficult questions; ready to dance with me in celebration and to stand by my side in times of suffering.

Why do you do theater (as opposed to film, or TV, or something not in the entertainment field)?
As an artistic director for RelianceStudios.org, I enjoy working with a variety of media... But theater is special. Theater uniquely relies on the intimate connection between artists and observers. The art of theater essentially depends on the active participation of both actors and members of the audience. In my mind, there is no other medium that so clearly places the human community at the center of creative collaboration.

Is there a particular moment in this show that you really love or look forward to? Without giving away surprises, what happens in that moment and why does it jazz you?
There is a moment in THE NAMES when, in gasps and sighs, one can hear the hearts of audience members breaking. As painful as it is, the moment is beautiful in the way that it reminds us of what we truly love. And soon after there is laughter again, encouraged by the very characters that broke our hearts a moment before.

Groucho, Chico, Harpo, or Zeppo?
Groucho! While he might not agree with me, I'd certainly be delighted to belong to any club that would have him as a member.

Can theater bring about societal change? Why or why not?
As I see it, theater actually *represents* societal change. We are challenged, guided, exposed and inspired by the best of it.