Monday, June 4, 2012

Planet Connections Interview - Kimberly Pau of "Baby Plays the Banjo"

By Byrne Harrison

Name: Kimberly Pau
Show: “Baby Plays the Banjo”
Relationship to production: Writer/Producer

How did you first get involved in theatre?

I had a little band when I was a kid and also made plays with kids I babysat and kids on my block. 

Who are your biggest influences?

Aristophanes, Brecht, Sheila Callaghan, Tony Kushner, Ingmar Bergman, Picasso.

What is your show about?

A girl who thinks she’s pregnant with Justin Beiber’s baby but she’s never met him.

What inspired you to write it?

I wanted to write something about mothers and daughters and I was also inspired by “The Glass Mengarie” and “The Good Person of Szechwan.”

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

Eric Mercado is the director and he is an absolute dream. I started seeing his work when he was at Tisch and I found it amazingly impressive even when he was only 19. Rachel R. Blackwell is an incredible visual artist I’ve worked with on many projects and it’s so exciting that she is designing all of the production elements for “Banjo” including 16 mm films and a puppet. DJ Karl Marx and I have also worked together a lot we made an album of Ave Maria recordings in Syros, Greece a few summers ago together. Eric, Rachel, Karl and I all worked on “Bomb Shelter” last year. The incomparable Vin Hill is writing the music and the actors are all awesome, Elizabeth Spano as Tiny Marie, Valerie Graham as Belleesha, John Buxton as Rob and Richard Brundage as Dad. 

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

I love the Planet Connections’ mission and the challenge to use recycled materials and waste less.

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

We are also donating part of our ticket sales to the Brooklyn Public Library for their book drive. They are a terrific organization and I believe strongly in supporting libraries and preventing censorship.

What's next for you after Planet Connections?

I’m developing a new piece with Theater for the New City that is a follow up to this play and a collaborative project about memory with Sanctuary: Playwrights Theatre.

If you could do one thing to change the world, what would it be?

I think the world would change for the better if all people were more aware of other’s perspectives and experiences.

To find out more about “Baby Plays the Banjo,” visit:

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