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Eat the Chicken

nytheatre.com q&a preview by Shanga Parker
July 23, 2013

What is your job on this show?
Director.

What is your show about?
This is a not-politically-correct woman-centered play about a group of friends who come together for a birthday party. It is 50 minutes of raucous, frantic activities that are full of surprises.

What type of theater do you like most to work on?
New (or relatively new) plays that have many things happening at once interest me. Plays that require the audience to pick a specific focus (as opposed to the camera deciding) are challenging to me as a director and to the audience.

Complete this sentence: My show is the only one opening in NYC this summer that...?
...happens so quickly that it will be ahead of the audience for the entire 50 minutes. It's a joy to work on such a tight, full script that has surprises, laughs, thought-provoking material. And it was written by an Icelandic female playwright, Anna Rosa Parker, who is able to reflect back our American morés and ways of being.

Why did you want to write/direct/produce/act in/work on this show?
This script has excited me from the first time I read it and directed the premiere production. It is especially exciting to do it in New York as the writer has written and acted in a successful show Off-Broadway (Theatre Row) and in Iceland and Seattle. She knows what works for an audience (New York and beyond). The cast, which a mix of professionals, NYU alums and NYU students, makes for a thrilling theatrical experience.

Which character from a Shakespeare play would like your show the best: King Lear, Puck, Rosalind, or Lady Macbeth -- and why?
Lady M. Definitely. For one, the Bree character (played by Anna Foss Wilson) attempts to control the action of the play... For two, although Macbeth (the play) doesn't show it, she has a sense of humor. And she would laugh at this play.

Why are theater festivals so very important?
Festivals, such as the Manhattan Rep's Summerfest, allow for new writers to be heard, for non-traditional (non-commercial) choices to be made in casting, etc., without the stress of a financial outcome.