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Samaritans, or Where Is Sylvia?

nytheatre.com q&a preview by Wayne Paul Mattingly
June 17, 2013

What is your job on this show?
Playwright/co-producer.

What is your show about?
Missing his late wife, Sidney leaves Senior Hollows in search of her at their former home where he explodes the lifelong secret of the reluctant Samaritans there.

What type of theater do you like most to work on?
I mostly prefer to work in the "magic realism" genre. However, I strive to explore the individual, even secretive, mind as one attempts to function within the bounds of society, family & identity.

Why do you do theater (as opposed to film, or TV, or something not in the entertainment field)?
I am involved with theatre because of its live element: attempting to create an experience that is, if we're very very lucky...transforming for an audience in real time. My choice of theatre, I should add, is in addition to rather than as opposed. Lorca wrote or said, "A play is a poem standing up." I try to write that poem.

Is there a particular moment in this show that you really love or look forward to? Without giving away surprises, what happens in that moment and why does it jazz you?
As the playwright, I look forward to innumerable moments with breath held. There IS a moment early on, a hook if you will, which reveals to me if the audience is with us.

Which character from a Shakespeare play would like your show the best: King Lear, Puck, Rosalind, or Lady Macbeth -- and why?
King Lear. Hopefully, he'd find empathy--even identity--in Sidney, the elder gent in SAMARITANS, Or Where Is Sylvia?

If you had ten million dollars that you had to spend on theatrical endeavors, how would you use the money?
I'd build me a theatre. Years ago, when I was acting regularly, an Artistic Director told me during the run of a show, that "You will always have a home here." Unfortunately, that home no longer exists. I'd like to provide another home for those of us out here without one