Saturday, February 19, 2011

FRIGID New York Interview - Zach Stasz of "A Kind Kind Man"

By Byrne Harrison

Name: Zach Stasz
Show: A Kind Kind Man

How did you first get involved in theatre?

I was originally a Mathematics major at my alma mater, Nazareth College of Rochester. Because of it's liberal arts program, I had to take a theater class freshman year. I absolutely fell in love with the stage and picked up a minor in Theater Arts. Eventually, however, that wasn't enough for me. After discovering directing and putting on my own productions, I ended up double majoring in both Theater Arts and Mathematics.

Who are your biggest influences?

The Coen Brothers, David Mamet, Elia Kazan, and Georg Büchner.

Tell me a little bit about A Kind Kind Man.

When 14-year-old Flora shows up on Willard's doorstep selling toothpaste with a smile, Willard's repressed masculinity surfaces, triggering desires to drop his perfect muffin-baking wife and run off with the unwilling Flora to the Virgin Island.

What inspired you to direct it at FRIGID?

I originally saw the first reincarnation of this project at Powerhouse Theater's Summer Playwright Apprentice Reading. I was really drawn to the unorthodox dialogue and passionate characters. Influenced by Nicky Silver and Christopher Durang, this show is a hilarious mix of over-the-top emotions with questionable situations that would normally be offensive if it weren't for the laughs that proceed it.

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

Elliott Pruitt and I have been co-owners of Stasz/Pruitt Productions since we started in 2008. He produces the shows and I direct them.

Catherine Weingarten, the playwright, and I met this past summer at Powerhouse Theater.

The actors - Jeffrey Coyne, Tali Custer, and Victoria Guthrie - auditioned for the show this past december.

And my casting director, Caitlin Jones, and I went to college together.

What's next for you after FRIGID?

We plan on doing An Adult Evening of Shel Silverstein during the summer. This has been a Stasz/Pruitt flagship show since we put it on twice in 2009.

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

We're not responsible for any intense toothpaste craving you may have after seeing it.

A Kind Kind Man
Written by Catherine Weingarten & Directed by Zach Stasz
Presented by Stasz/Pruitt Productions Queens, NY

UNDER St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place)


Thu 2/24 @ 7:30pm, Sat 2/26 @ 2:30pm, Wed 3/2 @ 9pm, Fri 3/4 @ 6pm, & Sat 3/5 @ 7pm

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