Wednesday, February 15, 2012

FRIGID Interview - Cameron J. Marcotte of "'Til Love Do Us Part"

By Byrne Harrison

Cameron J. Marcotte’s principle concern in creating theatre is the “here and now.” To him, theatre must have an immediate and truthful impact on the audience and the artist. Favorite projects include: Aria of the Ocean, Barbie Blended: a Pop Rockin’ Musical Mashup (Eugene O’Neill Theater Center), Will Eno’s The Flu Season (Marymount Manhattan College), Samuel Barber’s short opera A Hand of Bridge (NY Opera Exchange), and The House of Blue Leaves (Marymount Manhattan College, assisting for dir. Richard Niles).

Show: ‘Til Love Do Us Part

How did you first get involved in theatre?

A number of extremely lucky coincidences. I guess if you went all the way back it would be a school production of Wizard of Oz that I was in when I was eight. I’ve never really stopped being involved in theatre since then.

Who are your biggest influences?

As far as directors go, Harold Clurman is way up there. Also, David Cromer is a big hero of mine. In terms of writers, I’m big on Will Eno, Sarah Kane, and Martin McDonagh, as well as anyone who is concerned with writing about things that are present and immediate, especially in question form. A couple of other names: Artaud, Greg Allen (and the Neofuturists), Mike Daisey, and really anyone that has a great appreciation for truth. Also, human beings in general (I’m a perennial people-watcher). If you’re a human being and you don’t wear a mask, then you definitely inspire me.

Tell me a little bit about 'Til Love Do Us Part.

I’ve been describing it to people as a relationship in the blink of an eye. In the show, we see a relationship develop over a seventy-year span in only sixty minutes, a relationship that moves so quickly that our characters don’t have time to physically age. These two characters meet in a graveyard, and even though we see them in three of their homes, they never really leave this graveyard. The aforementioned blinking eye is that of a mysterious young girl. She weaves in-and-out of this relationship, completely innocent of the not-so-innocent tendencies of these brutal lovers. ‘Til Love Do Us Part is about a choice any potential lover faces: is love worth it?

What inspired you to direct it?

Andrew Hall, the playwright, approached me to direct this piece after we had met and developed a play at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center in CT. The reason I enjoy working with Andrew so much and the reason I think we get our best work out of each other is that we agree on very few things. But we disagree productively. And we do agree on the important things. One of my goals as a director is to always be challenging my audience. I find this comes most simply and most effectively when I’m being constantly challenged.

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

Along with Andrew, my lead actress Abigail Milnor-Sweetser is also a former collaborator from the O’Neill. Bobby Latrenta, who plays opposite her, is a good friend of mine who went to school with me at Marymount Manhattan and I’ve been looking forward to working with him for a little while now. Most of my designers are also from Marymount, so this is something of a reunion of friends and previous collaborators for me. I really like to work with close friends and I seldom get the chance to do so, so that’s been a really nice part of this project.

What's next for you after FRIGID?

Since I’ve been pretty much doing theatre non-stop since I was eight, a few months after this show I have plans to travel through Europe and drop everything theatre for a bit. I’m going to work on a few farms and explore some other cultures, which has always been a dream of mine. I believe that sometimes the best way to feed and strengthen our passions is to let them go for a bit. I think it will be nice to do something other than theatre for at least a small period of time in my life. And then I’ll probably create a theatre piece about that.

But before any of that, I’m directing an adaptation of Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte at the New York Opera
Exchange, at which I am currently a resident director. The production is a modern update on the 18th century opera setting the action in a farcical, media-obsessed culture wherein the weight of a Facebook relationship status is as heavy as a marriage contract, a culture that may not be as farcical as we’re so quick to assume.

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

Take this show only for what it “is”. Whatever the “is” may be, is up to you.

'Til Love Do Us Part
Company: High Frequency Theatre
Directed by Cameron J. Marcotte

UNDER St. Marks
94 St. Marks Place

Feb 22, 6:00PM
Feb 24, 10:30PM
Feb 26, 5:30PM
Mar 01, 9:00PM
Mar 03, 4:00PM
$5.00 / $10.00

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