Sunday, February 24, 2013

FRIGID New York Interview - Seth Lepore of "Losing My Religion"

By Byrne Harrison

Name: Seth Lepore

Seth Lepore (Writer/Performer) holds a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies, focus: Creativity in Education from Naropa University in Boulder, CO. Since 1996 he has created several self-produced one-man shows. I am not Fragile: A Confessional (1996); 5 Perspectives on Public High School (1997); Jobs Galore (1998) which was performed in tandem with a one-act play entitled Versus which Lepore wrote and directed. Two Minutes to Midnight (1999) was the last monologue Lepore performed before taking a ten year break to focus on several music collaborations especially his solo project Older Than Hours.

In 2010 he embarked on a parallel trilogy of solo shows about the underbelly of the self-help movement. The first installment, Losing My Religion: Confessions of a New Age Refugee, has been self-produced in black box theaters and fringe festivals throughout the country. The show won an Encore Award at both the Boulder and Minnesota Fringe Festivals as well as being named one of the top ten plays of 2011 by the Twin Cities Daily Planet. The second part of the trilogy, SuperHappyMelancholyexpialidocious premiered in the Spring of 2012. Kicking Ass and Taking Names, the third part of the installment is in development for 2014.

Lepore also tours War/Peace, a weeklong installation and participatory performance project involving community members throughout the United States. 

What’s your show about?

A hysterical romp through America's spiritual enterprise exploring the blurry line between self-help and faith.

What inspired you to write it?

I was entrenched in the new age/self-help world for over a decade. Even though I was always cynical about the results I finally saw that the dogma was just as rigid as any extreme religious movement so I decided to make a whole trilogy of shows about it. This one is the first in the series.

Who else is involved with the show?

Thomas Griffin directed it.

Who is your dream audience for this show?

Anyone who considers themselves a secular Humanist, agnostic, questioner, skeptic and/or recovering fill-in-the-blank is perfect for this show.

Who are your biggest influences?

Mike Daisey, Spaulding Gray, a bunch of people no one has ever heard about but will sooner or later.

What other shows are you planning to see at FRIGID?

All of them.

What's next for you after FRIGID?

I'm doing a residency of War/Peace in Easthampton, MA. It's a participatory installation which examines our ideologies and belief systems around these two concepts.

Lightning round

Paper or plastic? Paper.

Comedy or drama? Comedy.

Beach or mountains? Beach.

Black box or proscenium? Black Box.

Glee or Smash? Glee.

Cats or dogs? Dogs.

Musical or straight play? Neither.

Losing My Religion:Confessions of a New Age Refugee plays at The Red Room on the following dates:

Feb 26, 9:10PM
Feb 28, 7:35PM
Mar 01, 9:15PM
Mar 02, 3:10PM

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