nytheatre.com q&a preview by Nehal Joshi
October 13, 2012
What is your job on this show?
When did you know you wanted to work in the theater, and why?
I was studying Shakespeare in London at the Globe Theatre. I remember seeing "Merchant of Venice" (which starred Mark Rylance) and I remember watching the audience and the actors, back and forth. I remember thinking this is what I want to do. I want to share my experience of the world so that other people will share theirs.
Why do you do theater (as opposed to film, or TV, or something not in the entertainment field)?
Well, aside from the practical problems of scheduling...I love the communal aspect of theatre. We are there and you are there and there is no hiding that. The energy that we exchange is palpable. We become part of a small society when we enter the theatre together(which is why you should turn off your cell phone). I love that part and it's very much why "Working" is such a special show for me as well as the audience.
In your own words, what do you think this show is about? What will audiences take away with them after seeing it?
This show is about people and their jobs. I think Americans struggle with identity and many of us identify ourselves with what we do for a living. How many times do you meet someone and one of their first questions is: "What do you do for a living?" Deeper than that this show is about our shared humanity as Americans. I remember after reading this version of the show, I became so much more aware of everyone around me. It's became harder for me to ignore that I'm not the only one who could be having a hard day or might hate their job. I began to identify with people I'd never met, and treat them differently. I hope people have that experience too or just have a good time.
Which famous New Jerseyite would like your show the best: Snooki, Bruce Springsteen, Thomas Edison?
This is easy: BBBBRUUUUCCCCCCCE. We are sort of a populist show with some music by James Taylor.
How important is diversity to you in the theater you see/make?
Well, as an ethnic actor, diversity is my life-blood, but I feel it is important because I believe that understanding of our similarities not just our differences is what will bind people together. Also, as this country becomes even more diversified it's important that the theater make groups feel that they are represented so that they will come out to shows. Hopefully, there will be a day where the question of diversity in theatre is just a "duh".