Sunday, February 24, 2013

FRIGID New York Interview - Molly Ballerstein of "The Sandman's Coming"

By Byrne Harrison

Name:  Molly Ballerstein

Molly is a proud member of Brain Melt Consortium and very happy to be debuting her first conceived/created work in New York with the Frigid Festival. New York credits include: Smacker and the Highway (Planet Connections Festival), Daughters of Lot (Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Frigid Festival), Stein/Holum's Chimera (Under the Radar Festival), Anna Fishbeyn's Sex In Mommyville (The Museum of Motherhood). In addition to directing, her design work has been seen at premieres in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival as well as Boston's New Repertory Theater. Molly received her B.A. in Theatrical Production at Northeastern University. Thank you to the entire team and my friends for all your support in making this happen!

What’s your show about?

The Sandman’s Coming is about one man’s journey to separate his addiction from his identity. The story is told with flashbacks fading between dreamlike and authentic, familiar and outlandish.  While his physical memory unfolds before us on stage, we are hearing an interview about the experience of being an addict. The story weaves dance, multi-media, and text into an entanglement  

What inspired you to write and direct it?

I was inspired to write and direct The Sandman’s Coming after many run-ins with addiction. Family, friends, and even I have faced how addition attaches itself to your identity and the consequences it can have on relationships. I am always intrigued to work on a story that serves as an exploration of an experience and this piece has helped me to explore the links between addiction and identity.

Who else is involved with the show?

The team for The Sandman’s Coming is a mix of people from those that I have worked with and taught me about theatrical tech in college to current college students. The acting team consists of Anya Gibian, Nelson Patino Jr, and Lantie Tom.  Dede Booth, Dana Boll,  Dan Lance, Tony Lepore, Joel Rudzinski, Rachel Kerry, and Kristin Dwyer make up the rest of the production team.

Who is your dream audience for this show?

My dream audience for The Sandman’s Coming is broken down into two groups; the first is adults that have had addiction affect them. The second is young adults and teenagers that (although also could have dealt with this already) are coming to an age where friends and loved ones  are more prone to becoming addicts.

Who are your biggest influences?

My biggest inspirations and influences in the theatre world right now are Deborah Stein and Suli Holum of Stein/Holum Projects. I have been blessed to work with them on one show in the past and am continuously inspired and impressed by their work.

What other shows are you planning to see at FRIGID?

I have collaborated before with the writer of The Dreamer and the Acrobat so I’m looking forward to seeing her piece.

What's next for you after FRIGID?

After FRIGID I am working with Writopia Lab. Writopia Lab is a writing school for children age 6 - 18 which produces plays written by its students.

Lightning round

Paper or plastic? Paper

Comedy or drama? Drama

Beach or mountains? Beach

Black box or proscenium? Black box

Glee or Smash? Smash

Cats or dogs? Dogs

Musical or straight play? Straight Play

The Sandman's Coming plays at UNDER St. Marks on the following dates:

Feb 27, 5:30PM
Feb 28, 8:40PM
Mar 02, 2:05PM

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