Ten Questions. Ten Answers. And one Big Surprise in the audience …
While struggling to write a play, five mental patients battle their demons with theater through vulgarity, sarcasm, and song.
- Thu Feb 18, 2016 | 8:50PM
- Sun Feb 21, 2016 | 6:50PM
- Wed Feb 24, 2016 | 10:30PM
- Wed Mar 02, 2016 | 7:10PM
- Sat Mar 05, 2016 | 8:20PM
Kraine Theater New York, NY $15
Answers by Yaakov Bressler (Playwright)
[with an assist from Joey Stamp (Director)]
1. Forget the PR version. When you’re talking to your friends, how do you explain this show to them?
Yaakov: The Golden Smile is a story of mental patients struggling to collaborate on a theater project. Imagine the characters of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest mashed up with The Mechanicals from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, now imagine they get into trouble for something stupid – so they make a play to solve their problems, except it only deepens their issues. How they creep out of their mess is heartwarming and laughable.
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?
Yaakov: First, when my audience goes for drinks, they better buy me one. Second, I hope they discuss the relevancy of the collaborative struggle brought up in the show. We all face difficult working partners, hopefully The Golden Smile shares some laughs but also insight into these relationships.
3. What drives your show – character, theme or plot?
Yaakov: This question is really for the Director Joey Stamp – so I had him answer it.
Joey: What drives The Golden Smile is simple: Character. Our play starts with all the characters on stage, before the audience even arrives, and they stay there until the last audience members leaves. The point of that is to illustrate that everything that happens in that room happens because of each of these characters. Much like a train without breaks, our show is recklessly steered and controlled by the passionate motivations of our characters, which may or may not make any sense at all.
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?
Yaakov: As a writer, I have incredible pride is seeing the staff of The Golden Smile forgetting about life beyond the artwork during our scenes. Seeing each moment become real is such a privilege. I’m proud of my work but also proud of our team for being awesome (thanks guys!).
5. If money and resources (and even reality) were no object what is the most lavish, luxurious, pointless prop, costume, effect – anything – that you would spend money on for this show?
Yaakov: Oh my! A truly startling question… Our set is pretty simple and takes place in a very “real” place so we wouldn’t have such crazy dreams. However, we do use an antique radio which the characters are violent towards. It would be cool if they’d be able throw it around and be real rough. Those things are expensive…
Joey: I would have a wall to wall period set with linoleum tiles and green ceramic tiled walls. The play is set in the 1950′s, post WWII, and my dream would be to have everything, every prop, set, and costume piece be period. Unfortunately we don’t yet have the budget to raid all of NYC’s antique shops, but someday soon!
6. What’s the one thing you’re looking forward to regarding the FRIGID Festival itself?
Yaakov: My team and I are looking forward to participating in NYC’s Fringe Theater world. Networking, seeing other shows, and learning about indie theatre in NYC are all elements we’re looking forward to at FRIGID.
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?
Yaakov: There are a couple “real” moments in The Golden Smile where people might feel uncomfortable. In this discomfort, depending on the audience, is insight but also dark-comedy. It’ll be interesting to see how the audience reacts.
8. What’s your favorite line from the show?
Yaakov: That’s an easy one! “But teeth are teeth, not gold.”
9. What’s the last thing you usually do before the beginning of a show?
Yaakov: Use the restroom… Actually.
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?
Yaakov: I would be shocked to see one of my Rabbis at the show. I tell my Rabbis that I write plays but that they shouldn’t see this one because it’s vulgar (very vulgar). I’d be shocked that they’d come for the same reasons anyone would be shocked to see a Rabbi there.
I’m glad you said “rabbis” instead of “rabbits” because I can vouch for the fact that a bunny in the audience tends to be the opposite of shocking. In fact, if you can find a rabbit before your show, I suggest you get one. They are fluffy, soothing and very quiet throughout the performance. Unlike, say — a shocked Rabbi who might exclaim during a vulgar moment and bring your show to a screeching halt which may not be what you’re going for. So yeah – Rabbits. NOT Rabbis.
Well, Yaakov (and Joey!) thanks so much for answering our questions.
The rest of you – don’t forget to check out The Golden Smile!
Horse Trade Theater Group will present the 10th 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 16-March 6. All shows run 60 minutes, or less. Tickets are available for purchase in advance at http://www.horsetrade.