I believe I have gone before about the role of the dramaturg (or dramaturge) and I will not expound here. Let us just say Jackie Lawton has done fantastic job gathering together a wealth of materials for the cast and director to work with. An Actors job is to do the research to flesh out our character and with help from folks like Jackie it is a hell of a lot easier. She is the one without the beard on your left.
She mentions an interview she did with Jose Rivera, which I hope to run highlights of here on the blog. For now let us consider those insights a Company secret. We wouln't want to give to much away about what the playwright thinks his play is about, because many of you may disagree.
1. What is your job in References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot?
2. Have you ever worked for Rorschach before and how?
Yes! Jenny and Randy (et al) did a phenomenal job producing the reading of my play Blood-bound and Tongue-tied! True professionals! Inspiring! Not afraid to go where others normally have been! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!
3. Do you have any recurring dreams and if so what are they about?
Well it's kind of funny, because when I'm writing a new play, I tend to dream the play. So right now I'm dreaming a lot about the Middle East, Matadors and bulls, Greek Mythology and Lebanese food. Sometimes, I'll dream a scene that needs to be written that hasn't yet, so my characters will show up and work through parts of the play. Othertimes, I won't dream stories so much as images and feelings. For example, china berry trees in bloom, hummingbirds, smeared wedding cake. The senses are of me being crushed by some kind of pressure ... sometimes it's the ocean (scary, because I can't really swim), othertimes it's a man (sometimes scary/rarely erotic).
4. Other than Dali which painters turn you on?
Rene Gruau, Jack Vettriano and Vik Muniz
5. Have you been doing any special research for the show?
Yes, this play is gorgeous! It's dream vs reality structure is challenging ... kind of. Anyway, I had the opportunity to interview Jose Rivera and asked him all about the dream structure and his inspiration for writing the play. He shared with me more than I asked and more than I would have ever dreamed of asking. The whole experience was inspiring!!
6. Who is the biggest celebrity you have ever met and how?
I don't know who's more famous than the other, but these meetings meant a lot to me and my work: Nilo Cruz (Arena Stage reading of Bolero-Cesar was there!), Sarah Ruhl (dramaturged Clean House, she's become a great mentor), Robbie MaCauley (lead an intense workshop for a writers group that I'm a part of), Ruth Margraff (taught at UT-amazing mentor), and Quentin Tarantino (afterparty at SXSW in Austin).
7. In a steel-cage-no-holds-barred-death match which character in Dali would win?
Cat! No question! Nevermind the stamina, dexterity, flexibility, and that oh so fabulous femme fatale sleek sexiness, she's just more stubborn than the rest of them! Trust me, once she's locked in her claws, they're set. And in the words of Tennesse Williams, spoken by one of the most formidable cats of them all, Saint Maggie herself: "What's the victory of a cat on a hot tin roof? Just staying on it I guess, as long as she can."
8. What is the most impossible thing that happens in the play?
A man returns home from war, survives it with mind (the waking part) and body intact, and chooses to remain in the military.
9. If you could live inside of any painting what would it be?
Vik Muniz's Lovers, I mean, it's painted in chocolate!
10. If you had a theme song what would it be?
My theme song for this play, is The Killer's When You Were Young. The lines, "And sometimes you close your eyes and see the place where you used to live," resonate, immediately and profoundly, feelings of sadness, hope, innocence and bitterness. I love it.
My theme song at the moment is: Mika's Grace Kelly. This song says "F*ck you!" with a gorgeous melody! It also says, "I'm going to do and say whatever I want, ignoring all social protocol because I just don't give a sh*t, but at the same time I want you all to like me and invite me to all of your parties!" And that, in a roundabout squiggly way, sums me up!