nytheatre.com q&a preview by Matthew Greene
July 24, 2012
What is your job on this show?
What type of theater do you like most to work on?
I'm a sucker for a good story with dynamic, interesting characters, so those are the types of projects I'm drawn to. I love collaborating with talented people who share my belief that story should be the first priority in a theatrical endeavor. I favor substance over spectacle and I tend to avoid any tricks and trappings that distract from the essential: a good story about interesting characters told skillfully.
Complete this sentence: My show is the only one in FringeNYC that...?
Well, that's difficult to say, considering the fact that I haven't seen any of the others yet. However, I think you'd be hard-pressed to find a show with as talented a cast and creative team as ours. I try to say this with the utmost objectivity: this is going to be a great show.
In your own words, what do you think this show is about? What will audiences take away with them after seeing it?
The play tells the story of Connor, an unassuming young Mormon who finds himself at the middle of a media frenzy when his Tweets about a Mormon presidential candidate go viral. Connor feels pressure from his church and from his newfound followers as he decides how to proceed in the unexpectedly delicate political situation he finds himself in. It's really a story about the rising generation's quest to find something to believe in, whether that "something" is religion, politics, career, family, etc. It's a play that invites some really interesting discussion on faith, noise, and the solipsism of the "me generation."
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?
Clybourne Park, I'd say. #MormonInChief is, like Clybourne Park, a character-driven "dramedy" that deals with complex social issues in an entertaining way. Both times I've seen Clybourne Park I've spent the next few days contemplating what I've seen and talking to anyone who will listen about the questions it brought up. #MormonInChief seems to have the same effect. And they're both funny, so that's a bonus.
Can theatre bring about societal change? Why or why not?
I think theatre can get people talking and thinking. The arts serve to open people's minds and expose them to truth they may not have understood before. I'm a firm believer that theatre is pointless (and not very enjoyable) if audience members don't engage with what they're seeing. Audience members are collaborators in the performance and when they see a good play with this in mind they can come out of the theatre expanded, enlightened, and changed. After that, societal change is almost inevitable.