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How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Gardai: 10 Things To Know About The Show Before You Go (2014 FRIGID NEW YORK FESTIVAL)

by Karen Tortora-Lee on February 3, 2014

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Ten Questions. Ten Answers. And One Big Decision: Rock, Paper, Or Scissors?

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How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Gardai

Production Company: Sunglasses After Dark Productions

Borders aren’t just political – they’re personal. This daring new play illuminates one woman’s attempt to interrogate the bureaucratic horror of Immigration Policy, seeking humanity in a deeply dehumanizing process. Lili explores immigration – from Ireland to her native New Mexico – and why it’s the issue everyone’s so damn worried about.

Show Times:

  • Thurs 2/20 @ 5:30pm
  • Sun 2/23 @ 3:40pm
  • Sun 3/2 @ 3:40pm
  • Tues 3/4 @ 7:05pm
  • Sat 3/8 @ 8:25pm

Answers by  Director/Producer

Madeleine Rose M. Parsigian

1. Your tag line is out there on postcards and press releases so we know the PR version of what this play is about.  But when you talk to your family and friends, how do you explain the show to them?

MRP: At it’s core, this is a story about defining your own sense of home. They say “home is where the heart is” but it is not always that simple. This story shows that very beautifully.

2. Here’s a scenario: After the show some audience members go have a drink.  What’s the part of the show you hope they’re discussing?

MRP: Well first of all if they are still discussing it afterwards, I’ve done my job! But in this instance, Lili is telling a story of a personal experience and I think that makes it much easier to relate to. I hope the audience feels that in the piece and is compelled to connect the stories morals to their own lives.

3. What drives your show – character, theme or plot?

MRP: Character. There is only one and you cannot take your eyes off of her!

4. In rehearsals, read-thrus, or prior incarnations, what’s the one thing someone said about the show so far that made you (or the team) the most proud?

MRP: That people want to see it more! When it was in the United Solo Festival the show received an additional performance for popularity and shortly after we were accepted to the Frigid. We are thrilled people are responding to it and want to see it again.

5. Let’s fantasize for a moment. Let’s take the “off-off” off. Imagine this show is on Broadway. Would that change the production itself?

MRP: The biggest effect would be on the design elements, specifically lighting design. Because we have been doing the show in festival off off broadway houses we have had to keep the design very limited. For most of the elements the differences would be minor, but I would love to use light to tell this story and help illuminate different parts of the map on the floor throughout the story.

6. Taking that one step further – after paying everyone what they’re worth of course, what is the most lavish, luxurious, pointless thing you would spend money on if there was no constraints?

MRP: Projection design. It is totally unnecessary, but I would love to incorporate the labels and places Lili mentions in the piece with projections. I think in a big broadway space it would really help add to the piece.

7. Is there a scene, a moment, a gesture … anything at all in the show that you anticipate may get a completely different reaction depending on the audience that night?

MRP: Yes, but I am not going to say what it is because it’s important that it is a surprise.

8. What’s your favorite line from the show?

MRP: “Snowden, are you hearing this? Need a U.S. passport? Let me hook you up. We can be the Bonnie and Clyde of the airport terminal. Oh look at me – fraternizing with the enemy. ” -Lili Ashman

9. Is the world of this play sustainable outside a theatre? In other words … do you think people live the way the characters do? Would you want a world where they do?

MRP: In this case absolutely. It is a true story that actually happened to the person telling it to you so you know it happened.

10. You scan the audience and you see a face that stops you dead in your tracks – who is it? And why are you shocked?

MRP: The Gardai member, who had clearly missed the sarcasm in the show’s title.


Rock, Paper, Scissors Tournament of DEAAAAATH

In the THM virtual Rock, Paper, Scissors Tournament of DEAAAAATH which FRIGID Show do you take on? And what do you throw?

CHALLENGES: Yelling at Bananas in Whole Foods

THROWS: Rock.  Solid.

Thanks How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Gardai for participating in The Happiest Medium’s FRIGID New York Festival 2014 Q&A. And for playing our game! You’re officially ROCK in any and all challenges.  You may win, you may lose – who knows! This is how it works in the crazy world of the Rock, Paper, Scissors Tournament of DEAAAAATH!

For the rest of you don’t forget to check out How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Gardai !



Feb 20, 5:30PM
Feb 23, 3:40PM
Mar 02, 3:40PM
Mar 04, 7:05PM
Mar 08, 8:25PM
UNDER St.Marks | $6.00 / $10.00

  ~~~ Horse Trade Theater Group will present the 8th Annual FRIGID New York Festival at The Kraine Theater (85 East 4th Street between 2nd Avenue and Bowery) and UNDER St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place between 1st Avenue and Avenue A) February 19-March 9. Tickets are available for purchase in advance at or by calling 212-868-4444. 

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