Sunday, March 8, 2015

FRIGID New York Interview - Noah Casey of "Playing for Advantage"

By Byrne Harrison

Show:  Playing For Advantage
Website: Playing For Advantage NYC
Photo credit: Jon Taggart, Headshot - Katie Trudeau

Noah Casey’s training began with Barb Barker in Vancouver, and continued with Kate Bligh (National Theatre School) and Phillippe Libert (Royal Shakespeare Theatre Company) Montreal. After a successful national tour in the Fringe with Black Sheep Theatre’s The Root of All Squares, he decided he should “really” learn to act, and began training privately with Matthew Harrison (Actor’s Foundry). He was admitted to an MFA program at the University of Northern Illinois where he trained with Kathryn Gately. After all of that training, he tried to quit acting, then relapsed, and has wound up back on stage.

Tell me a little about your show.

The show is a relationship play set to a tennis match, beginning at seeding and moving through love, competing to be better partners, and then finally devolving into a power struggle where each party is playing for advantage. The idea of “winning” changes at each stage of the relationship dependent on the participants and their viewpoint. 

What inspired you to create it?

I wrote the show because I’d seen two plays that I really loved, but no plays that spoke to me in an honest fashion about modern relationships. The two plays were “Toothpaste and Cigars” (now a major motion picture with Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan -- The F Word released in some countries as What If) and Never Swim Alone. Toothpaste is about a near miss relationship, and Never is about a competition between two men and it is refereed by a lifeguard, hence the ball girl in our show…except their lifeguard is a dead girl and our ball girl’s very much alive.

Who else is helping you bring the show to FRIGID?

Kirsten Kilburn (playing Beth), and Safia Karasick Southey (playing the Ball Girl)

Who would be your dream audience for this show?

Couples aged 21-85. It’s a show that easily relatable. If you’ve been in a relationship, you’ll get it, and you’ll probably recommend your friends and family see it. 

As a theatre artist, who are your biggest influences?

MacIvor, Pinter, O’Neill

What shows are you planning to see at FRIGID?

Shirley Gnome, Sam S. Mullins

What is next for you in 2015?

New show called Scapegoats about a the breakup of two male friends as their intimate relationships become more and more important.

Lightning round

Favorite theatre professional? Denis O’Hare

Current show you would love to be involved with? Iceman Cometh with Nathan Lane and Brian Dennehy

Your dream show to be involved with? Glass Menagerie 

Who would you most like to have a chance to work with? Mike Leigh

Your best theatre experience? A show called The Garden 

Your worst theatre experience? A show called Big In Germany

Person you’d most like to thank for getting you where you are today? Barb Barker

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