Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Planet Connections Interview - Duncan Pflaster of "Sweeter Dreams"

By Byrne Harrison

Name: Duncan Pflaster
Play: Sweeter Dreams
Relationship to production: Playwright/Director/Etc.
Website: http://planetconnections.org/sweeterdreams/

How did you first get involved in theatre?

My mother was an actress when I was growing up, so I was always around and inspired by theatre as a child. She directed me in a kid's production of The Nutcracker when I was 7 or so.

Who are your biggest influences?

Israel Horovitz, Charles Ludlam, Wendy Wasserstein, Christopher Durang, Donald Marguiles, Eric Overmyer, and many more... It changes depending on which show we're talking about.

What is your show about?

It's about an independent filmmaker and the two men she's in love with- her husband and the lead actor in her recent films. It's a multimedia piece with clips from her movies and others.

What inspired you to write and direct it?

When I wrote it, I was heavily inspired by Nine, the musical of Fellini's "8 1/2." I had never actually seen it, mind you, only listened to the cast album. I had a vague synopsis from the liner notes and began to think about what a gender-flipped version of the same tortured, profligate artist trope would be like. In the end, it's really not much like Nine at all (though the lead character is still named Luisa, after Guido's wife).
I wrote the play some 10 years ago, not knowing how to make the multimedia elements work, but after working last year as a technician on Before Icarus Fell, a multimedia piece about Alberto Santos-Dumont by my friend Tony Chiroldes, I discovered that with today's technology, it's relatively straightforward, if not actually easy.

Why was it important to you to be part of an eco-friendly theatre festival?

I've done shows in Planet Connections the last two years, they do fantastic work for the community and I'm excited to be a part of the festivity again.

Planet Connections donates a portion of the box office for each show to a charity. What charity has your production chosen and why?

The Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation. Partly for the nod to Hollywood and movie stars, and partly for my good friend Chandra, who has been in a wheelchair since I've known her, and is a constant inspiration in my writing and life.

What's next for you after Planet Connections?

Some well-earned rest from producing and shifting back into writing; I'm working on a commissioned screenplay for an animated fairytale, and will be devoting my attention to that.

And finally, if your play was food, what kind of food would it be?

Chocolate, with a slight hint of raspberry liqueur.

Sweeter Dreams
Thursday, June 02 at 9:00PM
Saturday, June 04 at 9:00PM
Sunday, June 05 at 1:00PM
Tuesday, June 07 at 4:00PM
Saturday, June 11 at 5:00PM
Saturday, June 18 at 6:00PM
Tuesday, June 21 at 9:00PM
Saturday, June 25 at 3:00PM

The Gene Frankel Theatre
24 Bond Street

No comments: