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Beckett in Benghazi

nytheatre.com q&a preview by James Presson
June 20, 2013

What is your job on this show?
Director.

What is your show about?
A beleaguered theatre troupe tries to make ENDGAME more relevant by setting it in Libya--it goes pretty poorly.

Are there boundaries as to what kind of theatre you will take part in?
No way! I'm very open minded--I love Shakespeare, Sondheim, Annie Baker, and Barnum & Bailey equally. Prize goes out to the first person to get Annie and Stephen to work together on a circus adaptation of The Winter's Tale.

Complete this sentence: My show is the only one opening in NYC this summer that...?
references Cat Stevens, West Side Story, and Slumdog Millionaire over the span of five minutes.

Are there any cautions or warnings you’d like to make about the show (e.g., not appropriate for little kids)?
CAUTION: If you don't like laughing, don't come.

Which famous person would you most like to get a fan letter from: Denzel Washington, Maggie Smith, Ang Lee, Audra McDonald?
Denzel and I have a shared alma mater, so I'm expecting him to contact me any day now. Ang Lee is probably the best filmmaker working today, but would he really GET me? Audra's already a big fan (particularly the early, funny stuff). That pretty much narrows it down to Maggie Smith. I'd imagine it'd be a very quippy fan letter and that she would wear a magnificent hat while she wrote it.

Who are your heroes?
I think it's heroic to engage in a meaningful dialogue about the state of the nation. I think it's heroic to not settle for easy answers and to never cop out. I think it's heroic to take in as much information as you can before responding, but to not forget to respond. There are people who fit this description; to me, they are heroes. Also--Ernest Hemingway, Bob Dylan, and my grandfather--we can talk more about them another time.