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Bureau of Missing Persons

nytheatre.com q&a preview by Lila Rose Kaplan
April 8, 2013

What is your job on this show?
Playwright..

What is your show about?
A magical tale that explores how we heal.

What type of theater do you like most to work on?
My favorite plays have theatrical storytelling that's emotionally grounded. I love writing modern myths and bittersweet comedies that explore the mysteries of human relationships. I love creating plays that ask you to imagine, to feel, to laugh, and to gasp.

Complete this sentence: My show is the only one opening in NYC this spring that...?
has animal crackers, a hundred blue scarves, ballroom dancing, and a cave.

Why did you want to write/direct/produce/act in/work on this show?
When I started this play it was called Death of the Doily and it was about a school for manners. My grandmother was dying and I couldn’t face it. When she passed, I saw how little space we have to grieve and heal right now. Everything goes so fast. The world is moving so fast that we miss people who are standing right in front of us. Suddenly, I realized I wasn’t writing about a school for manners, I was writing about a Bureau of Missing Persons. I imagined a place where all the people you’ve lost, a place where they go. Once I knew about the Bureau, my heroine Angela took me on a quest to find it.

Groucho, Chico, Harpo, or Zeppo?
Groucho. But Harpo's a close second.

Who are your heroes?
The Marx Brothers, Lucille Ball, Tony Kushner, Sarah Ruhl, Anne Lamott, Gertrude Stein, ee cummings and Elizabeth Warren