Wednesday, February 24, 2010

FRIGID New York Interview - Penny Pollak of No Traveler

By Byrne Harrison
Photo by Cathyrn Lynne

Name: Penny Pollak
Show: No Traveler
Website: and

How did you first get involved in theatre?

I brought my open mic to Horse Trade almost two years ago, and we've been doing it at UNDER St. Marks Theater every Tuesday since. From Penny's Open Mic (a)muse collective was born and this is our first year as residents of Horse Trade Theater Group. It's been the best experience with a theater company we could have asked for.

Who are your biggest influences?

Anything Vaudeville. Tom Waits.

Tell me a little bit about No Traveler.

There is a flashing razor blade, heaven, hell, musical dance numbers, a bucket and a body count of nine. No Traveler combines vaudevillian moments, original music, projection and the universal experience of the heartbreaking act of suicide with the one thing that helps us keep going... laughter. And there's a body count of nine.

What inspired you to write it?

I've been creating and workshopping different pieces from No Traveler at my open mic for the last year. The great thing about the open mic is that it gives a perfect opportunity to experiment several different ways with any kind of piece. Monologues that came from a very dark place I've gotten to try to perform it very light and funny and vice versa. It's been a really inspiring process.

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

When I began to gather my creations into a solo show, I brought in award-winning solo performer Samantha Jones (Dora Mae Productions, Butterfly Suicide, Solo Nova, Wonder Women Festival) to create a perfectly edgy, creative duo. No Traveler also features the added artistic mastery of lighting designer LuckyDave, musical genius, Mike Milazzo, the resonate vocals of Lee Goffin-Bonenfant, and sound design by Nicole Yung. Of course nothing would get done without (a)muse collective's co-producer Marsha Brown.

What's next for you after FRIGID?

As well as continuing on with No Traveler whereever we can bring it, we start work right away on (a)muse collective's next two solo shows of the season, Sexyback at UNDER St. Marks on March 28th and Mike Milazzo's Acid Stories coming in May!

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

No Traveler is a trip down the rabbit hole. Both very dark and very funny, the audience will be brought to another place in time and space with the most beautiful and eerie soundtrack and of course the body count of nine.

No Traveler
By Penny Pollak

UNDER St. Marks
94 St. Marks Place

Thu 2/25 - 10:30 PM
Sat 2/27 - 10:00 PM
Sun 2/28 - 7:00 PM
Wed 3/03 - 10:30 PM
Sat 3/06 - 5:30 PM

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