nytheatre.com q&a preview by Larissa Wise
July 14, 2012
What is your job on this show?
playwright / director.
What type of theater do you like most to work on?
My favorite type of theatre is the kind that constantly checks in with itself, the kind that asks "have I seen this before in another show, have I seen it in life, or have I seen it rolling around in the caverns of my mind?" All answers are okay but there is something above and beyond in the shows that are aware of those avenues throughout. Those shows that question each choice with "am I just doing this because I've seen it done before?"
Complete this sentence: My show is the only one in FringeNYC that...?
My show is the only one in FringeNYC that involves a man who lives in a cemetery but is afraid of birds... I think. It's the only show that involves a woman who spends her life playing with toys but vehemently hates checkers... I think. It's the only show that involves a dance between a woman and a shadow... I think. It's the only show that will change the way you look at rabbit stew... I think. It's the only show that is written partially in verse, yet makes fun of rhyming... I think. It's the only show that does all of these seemingly silly things but still makes your heart hurt for the people on stage and still fills the part of you that wonders with wonder... I'm pretty sure.
What was the most memorable/funny/unusual thing that has happened during the development and rehearsal process for this show?
My mother who lives in Washington State is sometimes interviewed by documentarians and news organizations as she was involved in a high profile, Erin Brockovich-type law suit. My mother hates it so she often diverts the subject to me, her crazy daughter who lives in LA. One of her interviewers was a man named Ted who works for a Japanese News station out of Los Angeles. She told him all about me and that I was writing a play. She talked so highly of him that this time when she told me to shoot him an email to invite him to LoveSick, I took her advice and in unconventional Los Angeles style, he came to opening night with a friend. After the play, he and his friend couldn't stop talking about the show and how it wasn't the type of thing they expected to see in Los Angeles. Ted followed up the next day with one of the most touching and inspiring emails I've ever received from anyone, let alone a stranger, about my work. LoveSick was my first full-length play so I guess I was caught off guard by how much it allowed me to connect with people. I will keep his letter as a reminder forever... Plus, it's neat when people are good, old-fashioned nice.
Groucho, Chico, Harpo, or Zeppo?
We start with Groucho and end with Zeppo...
Can theatre bring about societal change? Why or why not?
Absolutely! It's always been able to. Anything that makes people truly feel, without warning, can affect change. Music, film, theatre, art all have that power. With good theatre, audiences find themselves relating to people they may not have before or asking questions that never occurred to them before. Change starts small and grows with those two seeds at the center.