A Coupla Crackpot Crones
nytheatre.com q&a preview by Terry Joan Baum
July 26, 2012
What is your job on this show?
When did you know you wanted to work in the theater, and why?
I think we all start OUT in theater, because as children, we spend a lot of our time playing games where we take different roles. But then when I got to college, I thought I had to be "serious" about what I wanted to do for work. I went to Antioch, which had a job program, where we alternated 3 month periods of study with co-op jobs somewhere in the U.S. I always chose social work kind of jobs. I liked the clients, but the other social workers didn't like me. I just didn't fit in. Then, I took a co-op job at the Studio Arena Theater at Buffalo, because my boyfriend was going to school there. The other theater people loved me! They expected me to be sassy and entertaining, rather than meek and subservient. I realized that I would never fit in anywhere else, so I might as well major in and work in theater -- which was my first love anyhow.
Have you been part of FringeNYC in the past? If so, how did you particpate? (Be specific! Name shows, etc.)
I was part of FringeNYC in 2007. My play, BAUM FOR PEACE, was selected. This was a two-person show with songs about my campaign for US Congress in San Francisco in 2004. My accompanist/composer played my campaign manager as a German drag queen. That was the only part that wasn't true. My campaign manager was NOT German OR a drag queen. But Scrumbly had developed this drag persona, Ilse, the intense world-weary German cabaret diva. it was so wonderful we decided to use it. Every single other part of the play was strictly fact-based. I didn't have to make anything up because the whole experience of the campaign was so absurd and dramatic.
Are there any cautions or warnings you’d like to make about the show (e.g., not appropriate for little kids)?
A COUPLA CRACKPOT CRONES is not appropriate for children under 12 or sexist men over 12.
People who like which of the following recent Broadway shows would also probably like your show: THE BOOK OF MORMON, ONCE, DEATH OF A SALESMAN, CLYBOURNE PARK?
Like THE BOOK OF MORMON, our show is about a traveling duo with a mission, and we wear black and white like they do. And sometimes we go door to door, performing in people's living rooms.
Can theatre bring about societal change? Why or why not?
Theater DOES bring about societal change. Even now, when it has been so marginalized, often controversial ideas appear first in theater before any other media. We ourselves, with our play DOS LESBOS, A PLAY BY, FOR & ABOUT PERVERTS, inspired the first anthology of plays by lesbians. At that time, there really were no images of lesbians on TV or in movies that were created from a lesbian perspective. So we directly participated in building community among lesbians and introducing straight people to lesbian characters who were lovable, flawed, and funny. DOS LESBOS was a a big hit and was also translated into Dutch, Swedish and Italian and produced all over the world. Thus we helped transform our society into a place that is much more accepting of gay people.