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The Steadfast

nytheatre.com q&a preview by Wes Grantom
January 14, 2013

What is your job on this show?
Director.

What is your show about?
The Steadfast is an unflinching look at eight US soldiers across the sweep of American history from the Revolutionary War to present day -- and what happens when the force of their stories collides.

When did you know you wanted to work in the theater, and why?
I spent my first year of college in Chicago and Mary Zimmerman came down from Northwestern to speak. After her brilliant talk, we all went to see her production of The Odyssey at the Goodman. I had never experienced such imaginative storytelling. All the plays had seen or read were just a bunch of people talking in a room - not that there's anything wrong with that. But this production was epic and lyrical and utilized arresting imagery to viscerally connect a modern audience to a tale thousands of years old. It inspired me to want to tell big stories and let me know I could tell them in my own way.

Complete this sentence: My show is the only one opening in NYC this winter that...?
...that spans all of American history exploring the reasons people serve in the military and gets very specific about the cost of service.

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 hope they talk about it into the wee hours and wake up the next day thinking about it. This play focuses on the military but it unearths much deeper, universally human questions about family, marriage, faith, and sacrifice. I leave rehearsal every day with a deeper understanding of all the things I have committed myself to and I think the audience will leave the theater thinking about the same types things.

Which famous New Jerseyite would like your show the best: Snooki, Bruce Springsteen, Thomas Edison?
My guess is Thomas Edison and Bruce Springsteen might like it a little better than Snooki but you never know.

Can theater bring about societal change? Why or why not?
I sure hope so. If not, why else would so many of us keep at it. It's certainly not the money.