Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Life in the LAB (our Back Stage interview)

Excerpts from our recent Back Stage interview:

Rubin: LAB is identified with gritty, urban plays. This show is stylistically different from what we've done before — it's a comedy, inspired by TV sketches — but I don't think LAB has an aesthetic.

Julian: I don't think we have any one subject or style in our plays. But we all kick ass. The company is populated by talented individuals who are committed to a level of excellence, committed like a pit bull with a T-bone steak. What we have in common is that we leave cynicism at the door. At the Intensives, which are where our plays begin, it's a sacred process. Anyone can say what's no good and what doesn't work. We don't do that. We dive in.

Back Stage: What were the challenges in this play?

Michael: We have 10 rehearsals, and that's terrifying, but what makes it okay is that we can lean on each other. Also, it's a very difficult play and it goes to some really deep, intense places, and the stakes are high.

Yetta: But once you accept the world of the play and feel free to break the rules, it makes it easier.

Julian: It's a dark comedy with a lot of absurdity. You can't pre-plan it. The hard part is playing it. Keep what's good and get rid of the crap.

muMs: It's the limited time and the over-the-top comedy that shifts to a very dark place. That's a bit of a challenge.

Liz: It's an emotional roller coaster, and in a way we're rehearsing in front of the audience. So the challenge is to allow ourselves the freedom to explore in front of an audience.

Julian: Whether we're doing knee puppet theatre or a Pulitzer Prize-winning play, everybody is willing to do everything. And that has made me a better actor. It's given me the impetus to show up and think about what I can give rather than what I can take or what's going to be given to me.

Michael: These are all my friends. Even if we were not working together, we'd be playing together. We're in each others' lives.

To read the full interview, click here.

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