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FRIGID New York Festival 2011 – Five Questions For: A Kind Kind Man

by Karen Tortora-Lee on February 23, 2011

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Welcome back to another installment of FRIGID New York Festival 2011 Q&A!  We’ll be running these throughout February until the Festival starts, so be sure to check back to read all about the great shows that will be taking part in the festival.  Also – don’t miss the winner-take-all game of Rock Paper Scissors! Today’s Q&A is with Zach Stasz, Director and Producer of A Kind Kind Man.

When 14-year-old Flora shows up on Willard’s doorstep selling toothpaste with a smile, Willard’s repressed masculinity surfaces – triggering desires to drop his perfect muffin baking wife and run off with the unwilling Flora to the Virgin Islands. Dentistry meets Little Red Ridding Hood in this dark and modern farce.

answers by Zach Stasz, Director and Producer

Antonio Asks: What makes FRIGID such a warm and welcoming experience for your production?

It’s a perfect chance for smaller companies to get phenomenal exposure and coverage. It’s pretty easy to get lost in the shuffle when it comes to NYC theatre – so when that glass ceiling breaks and audiences are seeing shows that may seem unconventional or offbeat, they’re bound to fall in love with a brand new playwright, company, or actor. Frigid makes this all possible and gives each show the respect and attention it deserves.

Diánna Asks: What about this play do you feel most drawn to personally, and because of that, what message do you hope the audience walks away with?

Gender roles in our society are constantly changing, and what was once seen as the perfect home – a working father, and housewife, 2.5 kids,a brand new television, and a dog named Spot – is now unconventional. Our show takes a man who feels completely emasculated and lights a fire under him. His wife “wears the pants” in their relationship, and the only bit of manliness he can call his own is a stuffed wolf head that his Dad gave him when he was a kid. When he falls head-over-heels for a door-to-door toothpaste salesgirl, his repressed masculinity surfaces – triggering desires to leave his life and run off with the unwilling girl to the Virgin Islands. I’m hoping that audiences will walk away amused, bewildered, and question whether or not they are repressing their own desires to be themselves.

Karen Asks: That’s some title.  How did you come up with it – and what does it mean?

A Kind Kind Man refers to Willard, one of the central characters. He seems to be just that… A Kind Kind Man. Or maybe that’s just what he has been told to be all his life.

Stephen Asks: You must have a favorite part of your show.  What makes it your favorite?

Flora, the door-to-door toothpaste salesgirl, tells about a reoccurring dream that involves wolves, full thick mustaches, toothpaste, the zoo, wet t-shirt contests, and more.

Lina Asks: How much of your show was inspired by true events?
None – that would be pretty weird.

THM Bonus Question: If you could play a virtual game of Rock, Paper, Scissors with another FRIGID Show which show would you take on?  And what would you throw?

Pretty N’ Papi – you’re going down. I’m crushing you with Rock.

Thanks  A Kind Kind Man – for participating in The Happiest Medium’s FRIGID New York Festival 2011 Q&A.  And for playing our game! You’re officially ROCK. So you may win twice. Or not at all! This is how it works in the crazy world of the VIRTUAL ROCK PAPER SCISSORS TOURNAMENT!

Meanwhile, for the rest of you – don’t forget to check out A Kind Kind Man!

A Kind Kind Man
Written by Catherine Weingarten & Directed by Zach Stasz
Presented by Stasz/Pruitt Productions Queens, NY
UNDER St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place) $14
Thu 2/24 @ 7:30pm, Sat 2/26 @ 2:30pm, Wed 3/2 @ 9pm, Fri 3/4 @ 6pm, & Sat 3/5 @ 7pm
FRIGID New York Festival 2011 will run February 23-March 6 at The Kraine Theater & The Red Room (85 East 4th Street between 2nd Ave and Bowery) and UNDER St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place between 1sr Ave and Ave A). Tickets ($10-$16) may be purchased online at or by calling Smarttix at 212-868-4444. All shows will run 60 minutes long or less.

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