Friday, May 11, 2007

Final Conversation with Jose Rivera

Performances remaining: 4.
Excuses for not seeing References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot if you are within a 25 square mile radius of Casa this weekend and are able to leave your house: 0.
We would love to see you Tonight or Tomorrow at 8pm. Or we could make some room for you tomorrow or Sunday at 3pm for the matinee. 2 for 1 Ticket Deal still in effect for Mother's Day Weekend, just use the ticket code "MOM" when ordering. I am done with prodding and guilting you people so I will let your mom's do it and say wouldn't it be nice to do something for your mom that didn't involve a Hallmark Card and brunch at TGI Fridays?
Been holding onto the following for about two months now. It is a transcript of a conversation that our dramaturg Jackie Lawton had with our playwright Jose Rivera. I can't tell you what a wonderful thing it was to have a living playwright working with us to answer our questions and supply so much background information regarding the genesis of the play and help discover the meaning of his work.
We had the same sort of help from Roberto with regards to Rough Magic earlier this season and we are looking forward to having some similar assistance from Jennifer Maisel with Birds. Birds by the way goes into rehearsals very soon, so get ready for another Rorschach World Premiere, this will be our 3rd for those of you keeping track.
Conversation with Jose Rivera

1. What has worked/not worked in previous production?
Playing the animals as animals, actors on all fours, or having them in costumes that resemble animals, etc, does not work.
The Coyote and the Cat are just a guy and girl. The Coyote is dangerous. The Cat is sexy. They are all in a heightened state of sexual desire.
It works best when actors aren’t afraid to go as far as the script is asking them to.
Allow the language to sound natural, flowing from you lips as though it’s the first time being spoken.
2. What is the Dream versus Reality Chronology?
Act 1 and 4 are reality. Gabby falls asleep at the end of Act 1 and dreams through Act 2 and 3. This is what Jose calls the joke of the play!!
Stylistically, Act 2 and 3 should not come off as A Midsummer Night’s Dream. None of it should be handled preciously. The language, their desires, their passions are real, gritty, psychologically disturbing, etc.
3. What or who inspired the script?
Benito is Jose’s brother Tony who was soldier in Gulf War 1. The machismo and the language are right from his brother’s mouth.
What Gabby does, in studying Islam, Muhammad, Karma, is what Jose did.
“If my brother’s going to be harmed, I wanted to understand what we were supposed to be afraid of/what we are fighting.”
He wanted to do some good.
He was also going through a divorce at the time he was writing this play. What it is when a marriage is in danger? What is it when two people can no longer communicate with one another?
He wanted to examine how two people who could have loved one another could suddenly, or over time, grow/develop into people who no longer love one another.

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