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Gay Camp

nytheatre.com q&a preview by Ken Urso
July 23, 2013

What is your job on this show?
I am one of the producers and actors in the show..

What is your show about?
Gay Camp is a hilarious quick-change farce where three actors play everyone at CAMP ACCEPTANCE, a gay reform camp, where campers have been sent away to be “fixed” but instead, learn how to love- themselves and one another.

Where were you born? Where were you raised? Where did you go to school?
I am a Midwesterner through and through. I was born in beautiful Madison, Wisconsin, and my family and I stayed in that area until I headed off to college at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. I received my BFA in Acting from good ol’ UWSP and then moved to New York. I worked professionally in and out of the city since 2005, and recently completed my MFA in Directing at The Actors Studio Drama School.

Complete this sentence: My show is the only one opening in NYC this summer that...?
...has Go-Go boys, dance numbers, pop quizzes, and culminates in "MICHELLE BACHMAN DAY!"

How did you meet your fellow artists/collaborators on this show?
I have been working on productions with Philip Mutz for years. I directed the first play he ever wrote, Kidnapping Laura Linney, at Stella Adler studios in the mid-80's. Wait. It just feels like it was the mid-80's, but really it was in 2006. I've directed him in productions of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged), Cabaret, and the original production of Gay Camp. He introduced me to Phillip Fazio, the director- who I quickly came to respect as a very talented director and artist. Christian did the original reading of Gay Camp back in the late 70's. Wait. It just feels like it was the late 70's. PS: I was born in 1983.

Which “S” word best describes your show: SMOOTH, SEXY, SMART, SURPRISING?
Oh man- just one word? Can I pick two? Because I would have to say ‘SEXY’ and ‘SURPRISING’. ‘Sexy’, because the three of us actors are pretty dang sexy. So are the Go-Go Boys. And, there is a lot of lovin' happening on stage. But, I would also have to say 'surprising' because of how fast we do the costume changes. And, there is nothing we won't say or do. We draw the line. Then hump the line. Then light the line and fire and jump over it in full glory!

Can theater bring about societal change? Why or why not?
Absolutely. In fact, I think that is the main function of theatre. I know it was the catalyst for Phil to write this show. Though it is a raunchy slap-stick comedy, deep down it is a very moving piece that touches upon themes of acceptance, self-identification, and ultimately, love. I hope the audience will laugh their butts off, but also hopefully open their minds and hearts a little bit, too.