SPACE CAPTAIN: Captain of Space!
nytheatre.com q&a preview by Lindsey Moore Sproul
August 28, 2012
What is your job on this show?
What type of theater do you like most to work on?
I’m proud to say that my company, No Tea, exclusively produces original funny plays. I think it’s important that the independent theater world have a lot of good original comedy voices, and I’m really proud that we do our own development and production on every show we take on. Lately, we’ve been doing a lot of “geek” shows--plays that involve aliens and zombies and time travel. I like to think of our work as the humor of an Adult Swim cartoon fused with the homemade sci-fi wonders of Comic-Con.
Complete this sentence: My show is the only one opening in NYC this fall that...?
Is done completely in black-and-white, and features miniature space battles, rocket-boot fights, and alien puppets.
Why did you want to write/direct/produce/act in/work on this show?
I adored this play from the very first developmental writer’s meeting where we discussed the idea. It’s about a hero and his eccentric band of crewmembers who travel into space to defeat an evil alien king who’s threatening our planet…but it’s also about trying to expand and keep growing as a person and break out of your rut, which is a very human theme that I immediately identified with. Plus, the show is such a big (and fun!) challenge for me in terms of directing and producing, because there are so many elements. For instance, the live stage show is interspersed with video segments as well as chase scenes and space battles done in miniature. And our cast includes twelve humans onstage and ten more who appear only in the video, plus three alien puppets, eight miniature spaceships, and a cat.
People who like which of the following recent Broadway shows would also probably like your show: THE BOOK OF MORMON, ONCE, DEATH OF A SALESMAN, CLYBOURNE PARK?
The Book of Mormon. Space Captain isn't a musical, and it has nothing to do with religion, and it's appropriate for all ages. But it's funny!
Who are your heroes?
The idea of heroism is a big concept in this show. Is a true hero someone who is utterly confident in their ability to do good because they have to make snap decisions, or someone who can listen to others and alter their own views based on others' opinions? As a director, I fall squarely in the latter camp—-it’s been so fun collaborating with the actors on this show and hearing their thoughts on character and action. (It’s a geek-filled cast, and so they have strong opinions!) But to answer the question, I think my heroes are all writers who have made a living but not compromised their vision, like Tina Fey and Simon Pegg and Ricky Gervais.