According to Goldman
nytheatre.com q&a preview by Nicholas Viselli
March 14, 2013
What is your job on this show?
I was just recently named as an Associate Director to the company but I am an actor in this production..
What is your show about?
In an attempt to get back into the movie business, Gavin Miller, a screenwriter-turned-professor finds himself in an unorthodox collaboration with a student, while his wife struggles to define their evolving relationship. ACCORDING TO GOLDMAN pits the lure of fame and celebrity against domestic tranquility.
Are there boundaries as to what kind of theatre you will take part in?
Wow. Regarding theater, I would like to think there are no boundaries that would prevent me from attempting a particular project. I've been pretty fortunate in my career thus far in that I've had many opportunities to try many different types of theater. Each project presents it's own set of challenges. More often than not, the riskiest endeavors tend to reap the richest rewards -- even if the project is a critical and/or commercial failure. It's always exciting and scary to be challenged as an artist and a huge part of the thrill is pushing through and persevering to the end. Every theatrical project and form is different and you usually learn something from everything you do. Why would any artist want to turn down a chance to grow? So I guess to answer the question, I'm up for pretty much anything.
Why do you do theater (as opposed to film, or TV, or something not in the entertainment field)?
While all of the mediums have their challenges and rewards, live theater will always be my favorite because of it's immediacy and direct connection with the audience. Each performance presents a complete communal journey for all involved. Live theater changes and grows from minute to minute and from performance to performance. Each performance is unique and cannot be perfectly duplicated since the elements always change and evolve. Unlike TV or film in which images are recorded, edited and frozen in time, Theater is a living, breathing entity, which happens in real time in your immediate physical presence. Theater is quite simply storytelling in it's most basic, most visceral and most perfect form. To answer the question, "Why do I do theater", I can only answer: "Because I have to". I've had many opportunities in my life to purse all sorts of professions, from Hotel Concierge to Legal Assistant, from Manager to Sales Associate . As we all know, Theater is not the profession to choose if one is looking for stability and financial security. Clearly I'm not being guided by intellect on this one. I'm going on something a bit deeper here. I believe that my heart, guts and instincts know better. Hopefully, time will prove me right.
Do you think the audience will talk about your show for 5 minutes, an hour, or way into the wee hours of the night?
Before I answer this question, let me first say that Bruce Graham is one of the finest and most prolific playwrights of our time. Since he lives and works mostly in Philadelphia, he is not yet very well known here in New York. It is our hope that that will change with our production. ACCORDING TO GOLDMAN is such a tight, smartly crafted piece, I believe it will have audiences talking long after our production ends it's run. The play fires on so many levels that it tends to haunt you long after the curtain falls. The other joy of Bruce's work is that he is a master at taking his audience on a wild roller coaster ride, where you're not sure what's going to happen next or how the story will turn. When you see a Bruce Graham play, you are always surprised. ACCORDING TO GOLDMAN is one of his best plays and we are fortunate and honored to premiere it here in New York City.
Groucho, Chico, Harpo, or Zeppo?
What, no GUMMO?! Okay, this is an ensemble cast in my book and you can't REALLY have one without the others. Each part makes up a remarkable whole. That being said, I do tend to prefer the crazy, silent Harp-man. I've always identified with the shy vulnerable types, but Harpo embodies this along with a deep, wildly creative soul -- and he doesn't say a word! That's art -- That's theater.
How important is diversity to you in the theater you see/make?
The theater company that has truly been my home for most of my time in New York is called Theater Breaking Through Barriers (TBTB). TBTB is the only professional Off-Broadway company that is thoroughly dedicated to advancing the work of artists and performers with disabilities. The company was founded by Ike Schambelan in 1979 as Theater By The Blind. We worked and grew from a small showcase troupe to a full-fledged Off-Broadway company and in 2008 we expanded our mission to include artists of all disabilities. We are an integrated troupe, mixing able bodied and disabled artists in all aspects of our work (administration, writing, production and performance). By our very nature, we are built for diversity. Of all minority groups in our profession, disabled artists tend to experience the most (and worst forms of) discrimination. It is TBTB's goal to prove that -- in any form of theatre -- physical disability does not limit the soul of the artist. That brilliance transcends physical limitation and art truly comes from a deeper richer place. But the proof is in the pudding. We invite you to come to our production of Bruce Graham's ACCORDING TO GOLDMAN and experience it for yourselves. We guarantee it will be an experience you will never forget!