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Last Man Club

nytheatre.com q&a preview by Marc Palmieri
September 5, 2012

What is your job on this show?
Dramaturge.

What type of theater do you like most to work on?
All kinds. I act, direct, assistant direct, dramaturge, assistant stage manage, and if they ask, sweep the floors. First and foremost, however, I'm a playwright. Working on a project in any capacity is the best way for me (other than seeing plays) to become a better writer. Working at Axis exposes me to experimental inventiveness, great risks in storytelling structure and a whole lot of smart folks. So I get to sit back and decide what to steal.

What are some of your previous theater credits? (Be specific! Name shows, etc.)
My own plays are POOR FELLAS, CARL THE SECOND, LEVITTOWN and THE GROUNDLING. I've acted at Axis, Classic Stage Co., The Culture Project, Emerging Artists, and others. I directed a show at the FringeNYC in 2007. I'm most proud of teaching playwriting, screenwriting and theatre-related literature at the City College of NY.

In your own words, what do you think this show is about? What will audiences take away with them after seeing it?
I think this show is about the puny place Man has in the universe- but in Axis' unique way. By subjecting ourselves to some time with a desperate family in the Dust Bowl, I really feel an audience will get a taste of what it may have been like to live so long in a punishing drought. I know that sounds like an experience one would generally avoid, but there's also an exciting story and very sympathetic characters. I believe there is something consoling and important in this production - and as always with Axis, it's a first class deal.

Which famous New Jerseyite would like your show the best: Snooki, Bruce Springsteen, Thomas Edison?
I was born in New Jersey and lived there for a decade. This is too hard a question. I need to consult with my therapist. It's not Snooki.

Can theater bring about societal change? Why or why not?
Yes. Obviously it has. I talk about this all the time with my students. It's an art form that is a social event. It requires an audience- without the live gathering, it is nothing. It really can't NOT change society...it's a group of people gathered together to have a communal experience considering our lives. If the writer is responsible, this experience can't fail to inspire communication, and once you have that...