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Chrysalis

nytheatre.com q&a preview by Evangeline Crittenden
July 24, 2012

What is your job on this show?
Playwright and Actor.

Who are your heroes?
The first person I think of is Anna Deavere Smith. She pioneered the genre of documentary solo shows, and she treats each interview with such specificity and reverence. Early in her acting career, she received the criticism, "You're too ambiguous! You have no 'type.' We can't cast you!" In her work, she transforms into an unbelievable range of characters. She made her ambiguity of type into a super power.

Complete this sentence: My show is the only one in FringeNYC that...?
uses puppetry to explore the complexity of grief. The Grief Monster is a recurring character in the show. His insensitivity highlights the pessimism and despair that can bubble up in the wake of a lost loved one. But, at the same time, he's just a puppet, so the whole thing is kind of hilarious and absurd. It's easier to hear all those nasty things if they come from a puppet, and my hope is that it's easier to confront them, too.

In your own words, what do you think this show is about? What will audiences take away with them after seeing it?
Chrysalis is a solo tragicomedy at the crossroads of grief and growing up. It asks what it means to be growing into yourself while suffering loss. Growing up is an outward process, and grieving is extremely internal. My hope is that the show provides a space for the audience to reconsider their experience of grief and grieving rituals, maybe even re-frame them in a more connected, optimistic way.

Which famous New Jerseyite would like your show the best: Snooki, Bruce Springsteen, Thomas Edison?
Thomas Edison is from Jersey?

Why should people come to FringeNYC this summer, rather than the beach, mountains, or the latest movie blockbuster?
Someone once said to me - I love this - movies are canned food and live performance is fresh, raw produce. That's not to say that all movies are salty and filled with preservatives...or something. Just that live performance is a unique, immediate moment in time, never to be fully repeated. FringeNYC is an opportunity for audiences to touch the pulse of an international community of performing artists, who strive to create interesting, spellbinding, original work. The shows at FringeNYC have the capacity to scratch an itch somewhere in your soul, somewhere you might not even know you had an itch.