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SuperHappyMelancholyexpialidocious

nytheatre.com q&a preview by Seth Lepore
September 21, 2012

What is your job on this show?
Writer/Performer.

Do you consider yourself a writer who also performs, an actor who also writes, or something else?
My writing is inseparable from my performance. The characters I create are an amalgamation of people I'm fascinated by smashed together to create absurd but very real personalities. I also play myself in the show so the writing is a very personal process.

What does solo performance do that can't be accomplished in a multi-actor play?
There's complete control over the process. Working with others has very specific group dynamics whereas working by yourself, the group dynamics you create with your characters all come from yourself. Usually when I see a play I want to play all the parts. This allows me to do that.

Do you think the audience will talk about your show for 5 minutes, an hour, or way into the wee hours of the night?
I want the show to stick with people for weeks. Recently an audience member told me she was talking to someone before the show and asked if they had seen my work before. When they said they hadn't she informed that that they needed to pay attention. There's layers of subtext going on in the script that people write to me about or tell me about days after they've seen the show. That makes me feel like I'm doing my job.

Which “S” word best describes your show: SMOOTH, SEXY, SMART, SURPRISING?
Smart.

Can theater bring about societal change? Why or why not?
It depends. If it's pure entertainment then no. There's plenty on Broadway and in community theater that's about getting butts in the seats. The formula for Hollywood is very much replicated in a lot of traditional theater which tends to bore me to death. Theater that takes risks, shows the full capacity of the emotional spectrum and makes you hate and love is theater that is important. It's theater that isn't afraid to show ugliness. Theater that forces you out of your comfort zone (and there's many subtle ways of doing that which I prefer) is the kind that will change society for the better.