Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Planet Connections Interview - George Katt of "Face Divided"/"Mutilation of St. Barbara"

By Byrne Harrison

Name: George Katt
Relationship to production: Actor & Founder/Artistic Director of The Indies Lab
Website: http://www.georgekatt.com/ / www.facebook.com/theindieslab

How did you first get involved in theatre?

I started on stage at an early age before high school and it is where I first began to hone my craft and before I began work in television & film. I began doing Off-Broadway and Off-Off Broadway plays in NYC before anything else. It was where I fell in love with the craft. NYC and theatre were the first venues of inspiration for my work and are my roots

Who are your biggest influences?

For theatre when I first started out, I was immediately turned on to Elia Kazan, Marlon Brando, Tennessee Williams, Montgomery Clift and other artists that revolved around The Actor's Studio & Lee Strasberg's world. It was any actor/director/writer that I felt was working from a place of truth and an investment.

What is your show about?

Our two one-acts are both about dysfunctional or a better word would be 'unfortunate' relationships. The common bond is a definite love for each other but unhealthy nonetheless. They are paralleled in themes of escapism, abuse, and mutilation.

What inspired you to perform in it?

Rosebud Baker gave me "Face Divided" to read back in January and at the time I personally connected with the piece instantly. We workshopped a scene at The Indies Lab and when she came to me about getting involved with the festival and the idea of pairing it up with a one-act written by fellow member and amazing talent Mark Borkowski and also utilizing the fantastic actors from The Indies, I was all for it. Really wonderful, dark, and intense plays. "Face Divided" is written by Edward Allan Baker and "Mutilation of St. Barbara" by Mark Borkowski, both award-winning playwrights that bring so much depth and intricacy to their characters and their relationships.

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

We have an ongoing common problem in this world lately. Our earth is being abused. Our resources are being drained. And although most of us may be unaware, but we are being affected by it, like it or not. It is important to be conscious of that. If we don't begin to suppress any further damage to our environment and our ecosystem it will come back to haunt us in more ways than we are aware. I recommend being educated on this matter. Reading about it, watch some amazing documentaries, know how you can do your part. As artists it is important that we care about our environments as a whole. Our inspirations.

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

The Actor's Fund of America. It's an amazing cause and has been a great help to many struggling artists. It is a place that really cares about actors being able to thrive and to continue doing what they love to do.

What's next for you after Planet Connections?

I will be starring in several feature films including "Turnabout" opposite Indies Lab members Chris Kerson and Mark Borkowski whom both starred in the recent Rogue/AMC Independent film "Cost of a Soul" and "Jack: The Original Human" a feature film with a different take on one person's journey through their self discovery as they are influenced by beat generation writers and poets. I am also continuing the development and growth of "The Indies Lab" as we just made it past our 6-month mark and am going to go into editing soon on a feature film drama I directed through the lab titled "Miracles of the Misfitted" starring the Lab actors. I also have several other feature films that I am currently in talks with about starring in.

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

It would be a sour apple straight out of the Garden of Eden!

"Face Divided"/"Mutilation of St. Barbara"
Saturday, June 04 at 5:25PM
Monday, June 06 at 9:00PM
Wednesday, June 08 at 4:30PM
Sunday, June 12 at 6:00PM
Friday, June 17 at 8:00PM
Sunday, June 19 at 11:30AM

The Robert Moss Theatre
440 Lafayette Street

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