Saturday, July 10, 2010

5 Questions With undergroundzero Participant Tim Watts

By Byrne Harrison

Name: Tim Watts
Show: The Adventures of Alvin Sputnik: Deep Sea Explorer
Relationship to play: Creator and performer

Tim Watts is a performer, deviser, director, producer, puppeteer and animator. He is a member of “Weeping Spoon Productions”, an international multi-award winning independent theatre company based in Perth, Western Australia. He has performed/devised/directed theatre and participated in various workshops all around the world with leading theatre practitioners/companies including Marek Bečka (Prague), Jean-Guy Lecat (Paris), Complicite (London), and Dell'Arte International (USA). His most recent credits include, Deathtrap (PICA, Perth) The World Inspite of Itself (China), Red Lashes (UNIMA 2008, Perth), Greed (Canada Fringe), Hope is the saddest (Brisbane Festival), Duck Duck Goose (The Blue Room, Perth), Oscar (Perth) and Heart of Gold (PICA,Perth).

First of all, it's great to see you back in New York with Alvin Sputnik. How does it feel to bring the show back to a new festival? And what do you hope to bring to the new production?

It is great to be back in New York. I really love this city, and it is great to bring the show back to a new festival. Its a chance to meet new people, and be apart of such a strong Off-Off Broadway theatre scene. There are so many talented artists living in this city, and it is fantastic to be submerged into that theatre culture, even if only for a week. I have improved and tweeked the show since last year, and i am keen to get more feedback on it so that i can continue to tweek and improve it over the years.

It seems the news on the environmental front seems to be getting worse and worse. Do you think people will ever learn from their mistakes, or are we heading for something like the waterworld of Alvin Sputnik?

I think the world has changed dramatically over the last year, and people and companies are making changes. I have noticed a big difference in NYC since I was here last year; it is becoming easier to do the right thing, because companies are realising its what people want. "Green" its becoming very marketable, it seems. Which is a HUGE step for the world. It makes the consumer feel empowered, like they can make a difference by the choices they make. I have faith and hope that we will learn from our mistakes, and I hope that the change happens soon. Though when news comes in of a preventable environmental disaster such as the oils spill it exhausts that faith in humanity for a while, but there is no point wallowing in the despair, and just looking at the spill like a child whose ice cream just fell on the floor, we just need to fix it.

The "waterworld" of Alvin Sputnik is not a scientific possibility. From my understanding the rising water level won't rise high enough to cover the entire planet. But that dramatic change in the climate will kill a lot of life, including humanity. This of course is immensely tragic, and we must do all we can to prevent it from happening.

What can people expect from your show?

They can expect a fun, inspiring show about the power of enduring love and the end of the world. Puppets, bubbles, deep sea creatures, animation, and a wiimote.

When last we spoke, you had plans to take Alvin Sputnik worldwide and translate it into other languages. How is that going?

Great! for the rest of this year and next year I will be touring Alvin all over Australia, India, Korea, China, Scotland, Ireland, England, France, Germany, New Zealand, and I hope in 2012, I will return to the USA and Canada. Korean will be the first language we translate it into, with others to follow. There is very little dialogue in it, and we will figure out the best way to perform it in another language - subtitles or if I learn sections in another language. It is very exciting!

What is next for you after undergroundzero? And will we see you in New York again soon?

After undergroundzero we head down to perform in Columbia, South Carolina, on the 14th of July, and in Wilmington, North Carolina on the 17th of July. I am performing at the Port City Puppet Festival in Wilmington, and it is the main reason i have been able to make it to the USA this year. I am very excited to engage with the American puppetry scene, and it is a very exciting program they have booked down there.

I certainly plan to be back in NYC and the USA again. Next year is fully booked up with touring Alvin all over the world, so I won't have a chance next year, but I am currently trying to organise a tour of the USA and Canada in 2012, so I'll keep you posted.

The Adventures of Alvin Sputnik: Deep Sea Explorer
Created & Performed by Tim Watts, Australia
Produced in Association with terraNOVA Collective

P.S. 122
150 First Ave at 9th St.
Upstairs Venue

July 7 - 7pm
July 8 - 9pm
July 9 - 7pm
July 10 - 7pm
July 11 - 3pm

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