The Upper Lip
nytheatre.com q&a preview by T. Scott Lilly
April 8, 2013
What is your job on this show?
What is your show about?
THE UPPER LIP is a theatrical adaptation of the novel Rock Wagram by William Saroyan and chronicles the life of a late 1930s movie star, utilizing the use of the silver screen.
Are there boundaries as to what kind of theatre you will take part in?
I've never thought of it as boundaries, I don't have a specific line in the sand, but I do have a series of questions I go through in my head: Is this a play that I would go and see? Is this a character that I would enjoy inhabiting for the next two months or so of my life? Am I up for what this will require of me (do it right or don't do it)?
Are audiences in New York City different from audiences in other cities/countries where you’ve performed? If so, how?
NYC audiences are beautiful, glamorous, intelligent, caring, the salt of the Earth, and aren't swayed by pithy glib compliments from someone they don't know. Mainly they know better than to text during the show. (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?
It's the hope of any show that it will stay with an audience after they've seen it. There is a character in this play called the Good Enemy, which is essentially that voice in all our heads that constantly questions everything we do. I feel that this convention/character will foster fruitful discussion (over a Fosters) after the show.
Which “S” word best describes your show: SMOOTH, SEXY, SMART, SURPRISING?
Can theater bring about societal change? Why or why not?
Absolutely. But the audience has to meet you halfway and carry that torch back into the world. (But if social-change a stated goal of the play it's not likely to change anything.)