Thursday, June 3, 2010

Too Soon Festival Interview - Esther Crow of Death Is A Scream

By Byrne Harrison

Name: Esther Crow
Play: Death is a Scream
Relationship to production: Playwright and Actor

How long have you been involved in theatre?

Since the early 90's. I started with improv, then sketch comedy. Then I developed my first solo show in San Francisco, People Like Us, which had its premiere as part of the 2001 NY Fringe Fest.

What play had the biggest influence on your life?

In terms of my own writing, I'm more influenced by comedians and solo performers. Carol Burnett is my biggest influence for sure. Followed by Tracey Ullman, Eric Bogosian, Anna Deveare Smith, Sarah Jones, Bill Hicks, Lucille Ball, Gilda Radner, Lily Tomlin, David Sedaris...and the list goes on and on.

What is your show about?

Death. Dying. The Afterlife. Near Death Experiences. All things pertaining to death. Oh, and it’s a comedy. With lots of original music.

What led you to develop it?

Over the past year, I had been contemplating writing a show about Death. I had been working on a solo show (developed mostly at PIT) for the past couple years on alcohol, called Pickled. But somehow, the subject of Death kept luring me and I found it to be much more fruitful than the subject of booze. There's only so many drunken characters you can do before it gets old!

What inspired you to apply for the Too Soon Festival?

When the theme "Too Soon" was chosen for the Brick's summer fest, I thought: "a-HA!!! A show about Death could totally fit into this!" My reasoning: its always "too soon" to broach a subject like Death. Everyone wants to shelve it, cause we're frightened of the unknown and of losing loved ones. What better ingredients to start cookin' up a comedic play than fear and tragedy? So I immediately got to work while on vacation in February and managed to meet the March deadline for submissions.

What's next for you after Too Soon?

Carnegie(the hall not the deli:)! But is a tour to Chicago and back with my band, The Electric Mess in July!

And finally, if you could slow the world down and get two more hours out of every day, what would you do with them?


Death Is A Scream
Written by Esther Crow
Directed by Rabeah Ghaffari

50 minutes

Fri 6/11, 9:30pm
Fri 6/18, 7pm
Sat 6/19, 3pm
Sun 6/20, 5pm
Wed 6/23, 7pm

Watch the video promo.

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