Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Planet Connections Interview - Lenny Schwartz of "Fidelity"

By Byrne Harrison

Name: Lenny Schwartz
Play: Fidelity
Relationship to production: Playwright/Director
Website: Daydream Theatre

How did you first get involved in theatre?
I first got involved in theatre in high school... back when I had more hair and terrible acne.  I was an actor first and I later started writing plays. I wrote my first play in college during a math class I had to take in my freshman year. I got an A in the class and I had a play which I eventually directed. The play, Lost in a Daydream, was pretty bad. You probably wouldn't use it to line your hamster cage with. My parents loved it though (my mom to this day wishes I would restage it). Yet, I stuck with it and I would write every day. I also would read a play every day.

Who are your biggest influences?
Sara Schwartz, Callie Schwartz,Michael Roderick, Duncan Pflaster, Jesse Edward Rosbrow. Gabrielle Fox, Norah Turnham, Glory Kadigan, Rich Orloff, Kevin Broccoli, Michael Gronski, Tara Gray, John Joseph Gomes, Michelle Snyder, Jamie Dufault, Gabby Sherba, Linda Barone, Caitlin Murphy, Mary DeBerry, Scott Morrison, Jeni Hayden, Jon Knowles, Jim Belanger, Joe Barbosa, Byrne Harrison, Martin Denton and Lloyd Felix and everyone out there reading this and for those I forgot (I love you all). And yes, I did name-drop all of these people because they are either part of my show or I want them to come see it. Always promoting.

What is your show about?
Fidelity is a searing examination of the lives of two couples dealing with the stresses and influences of our current society. It is a  dark comedy about a destructive marriage where both partners casually betray each other. Openly deceitful, the pair wage a psychological war against each other using emotions, loss, and love as their weapons.

It's been a joy. Two of these actors are from RI (John Joseph Gomes, Jamie Dufault), one is from Alaska(Michelle Snyder, who currently lives in RI), and one is from RI but lives in New York (Gabby Sherba). I am blessed with four increibly talented people. Come see the show for these four, not me. They are thrilling to watch and well deserving of an audience.

What inspired you to write it?

I really wanted to write a play with no restrictions... on language, on themes, on how dark it is, etc. I decided this play would not be written with any audience in mind, and it just goes where it goes... and I just slept three hours a night for a month and a half and wrote Fidelity. A lot of Kool-Aid was involved to keep me up. Grape Kool-Aid (T
his is not a joke). When it was done it literally scared the hell out of me. It was like a Kate Hudson movie... written by Freddy Krueger. I decided then I HAD to direct this... ESPECIALLY because it scared me. Luckily, Planet Connections took a chance on me (again) to do this show.

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

I am from RI bring this show up to NYC. Recycling props, sets, programs, costumes is a big thing for us at Daydream Theatre Company. In addition to saving money (think about it), you are also saving our home... the place we all share. Planet Connections is a progressive theatre Festivity... one of the most progressive in the country. I would be a fool not to want to be a part of that. That and we are all partnered with a charity... so it really is theatre with a cause. Which is truly amazing.

What charity has your production chosen and why?
We chose R.A.I.N.N. because I have dealt with the in the past and it is a wonderful charity. I thank Chelsea Bowers from R.A.I.N.N for being a wonderful contact there. A lot of the things they deal with, (especially about Abuse which is a big theme in out show)

What's next for you after Planet Connections?
I am going to the  San Diego Comic Con again in July (fourth year!) and disappearing for the summer. I will be writing but nobody will hear from me. Not until I complete this script I really want to finish. I will be directing a show in RI in Novemeber 2011 and April 2012... two shows I can't talk about... yet.

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

If my play was food, it would be steak. a big bloody T-bone steak. Great. Now I am hungry. Off to the Outback. Till next time!

Friday, June 10 at 4:00PM
Saturday, June 11 at 11:00AM
Sunday, June 12 at 7:00PM

24 Bond Street

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