Friday, February 26, 2010

FRIGID New York Interview - David Lawson of Floundering About (in an age of terror)

By Byrne Harrison

Name: David Lawson
Show: Floundering About (in an age of terror)
Website: Floundering About (in an age of terror) TICKETS

How did you first get involved in theatre?

I was a hyperactive, out-of-control kid. Really disruptive. My sixth grade teacher Mr. Heflin promised me if I would be on good behavior during class he'd let me have a few minutes each morning to do a little performance in front of the class. It was a masterstroke because it got me to shut up AND got me into performing. The next year I was one of the few 7th graders in the middle school play and I haven't stopped since then.

Who are your biggest influences?

Oh many. But specifically in the world of solo performance: Anna Deavere Smith. I didn't even know that someone could get away with a one-person show until I read (and later saw) her. I think Mike Daisey might be the most exciting thing happening in American theatre right now. I love the way he blends autobiography and social/political commentary, as well as the things he chooses to do shows about. It's a great time for solo performance right now: Nilaja Sun, Jonathan Mirin, Lisa Ramirez, the Literature to Life shows at The American Place Theatre and so much more.

Tell me a little bit about your show.

It's a coming-of-age story about growing up in the D.C. area in the wake of 9/11. The whole area had a very particular paranoid, hyper-religious, saber-rattling vibe that made it a scary and hysterical place to be as a teenager and I got a lot of good stories out of that.

What inspired you to write it?

I couldn't find a lot of work about being a teenager in the early 2000s. So I thought I'd try to make one myself.

Who are your collaborators and how long have you been working with

I was very fortunate to have workshop sessions with the aforementioned Lisa Ramirez and with David Kener from the aforementioned American Place Theatre. I had previously interned for David at APT and he has been so helpful over the years. As for Lisa, I approached her after a performance of Exit Cuckoo at Working Theatre, and she was incredibly generous to give some of her time to the show.

What's next for you after FRIGID?

Just before the new year I wrote the first drafts of two new full-length plays, I'll be rewriting those pretty extensively. Besides that, working, auditioning and submitting my work.

And finally, if you could say anything to your potential audience,
what would it be?

The best solo performance lights a spark in people and makes them want to tell THEIR own stories. So if what I say onstage makes you want to tell your own story, grab me after the show and tell me it!

Floundering About (in an age of terror)
By David Lawson

UNDER St. Marks
94 St. Marks Place

Thu 2/25 - 9:00 PM
Sat 2/27 - 2:30 PM
Sun 2/28 - 4:00 PM
Wed 3/03 - 6:00 PM
Sat 3/06 - 7:00 PM

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