Monday, February 7, 2011

FRIGID New York Interview - Randy Anderson of "Yippie!"

By Byrne Harrison

Name: Randy Anderson
Show: Yippie! presented by The Beggars Group
Website: Book website at

How did you first get involved in theatre?

I auditioned for Cheaper by the Dozen in the 6th Grade and loved the experience. By the time I was in high school I was writing and directing shows. Our teacher didn’t know much about theater (he was an English teacher), so he let us create the curriculum and teach each other. That laid the groundwork for my collaborative style.

Who are your biggest influences?

Without a doubt, Theatre De Complicite. I saw three of their shows in London in 1994 and instantly got hooked by their physical, thematic, and non-linear style of storytelling. As far as writing goes, it would be Nicky Silver’s combination of crisp dialogue, short scenes, and direct address monologues which is masterful.

Tell me a little bit about your show.

Yippie! looks back on the life of Yippie founder Jerry Rubin and his transformation from laid back (yet concerned) 1960s activist, to super left-wing radical anarchist, to (what the courts deemed him as) hardcore political subversive who would stop at nothing to overthrow the government. Which, included risking the lives of thousands of young people during the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. Yippie! explores this period as Yuppie Jerry Rubin (yes, he transformed yet again into a Yuppie in the ‘80s) contemplates his past actions in the face of the new youth movement’s demise.

What inspired you to write it?

The Beggars Group produced this show in 2001. It was called Do It! then and was based on Jerry Rubin’s book of the same title. I found the book at a used bookstore in college and the second I started flipping through it, I knew it would make a great play. There are pictures, poetry, sex, drugs and hysterical hijinks. Not to mention some fantastic ‘scenarios’ that lent themselves perfectly to my newly emerging esthetic.

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

Harrison Williams is co-writing and co-directing the production with me. He’s been with the Beggars Group since 2000. Scott Rad Brown is co-producing and Justin Sturges is designing the sound. We have a great cast who will portray characters such as; Jerry Rubin, Dave Dellinger, Nancy Kershon, John and Jane Doe (our '50s cautionary tale), and the show-stopping Sunny Tits.

What's next for you after FRIGID?

I’ll be publishing my book, On Making Off. It’s a memoir (I write that loosely) about a young kid (me) moving to New York and starting a theater company called The Beggars Group. Complete with porn stars, Asian trannies, drunken performances, heartbreak and hysteria, On Making Off glamorizes the grit of making theater in the basement theaters of New York. I’m self publishing on Amazon, Kindle, and Nook in March. It’s a great read!

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

Come see Yippie! Sunny Tits will be serving shots of tequila.

Written and Directed by Randy Anderson & Harrison Williams
Presented by The Beggars Group Brooklyn, NY

The Kraine Theater (85 East 4th Street)


Wed 2/23 @ 9pm, Fri 2/25 @ 8:30pm, Sun 2/27 @ 1pm, Thu 3/3 @ 9pm, & Sat 3/5 @ 7pm

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