Summerworks Preview Questionnaire: 4 1/2 (ig)noble truths

2 Aug

412ignobletruths-400x500Your Name: Thomas McKechnie

Your Production: 4 1/2 (ig)noble truths

Your Role: Writer/Performer

Tell me a bit about your show: 4 1/2 (ig)nobles truths is a performance lecture on clinical depression. It’s not a educational pamphlet that your doctor gives you. It is an attempt to be something more and different than that. The language of medicine halts at the provable. In the theatre we start with the ineffable, the metaphorical, the spiritual. The show is an attempt to express depression, not how it is, but how it feels, what it’s like. It’s an attempt to take the screaming, incoherent, anger and fear inside of me and give it enough form that it can be understood. To name it. There is a belief in certain folk customs that if you know the true name of a demon you have power over it. The show is trying to “Name” depression.

What else are you excited to see at this year’s festival? Trompe la Mort; or Goriot in the 21st Century, No Fun, Plucked, Naked Ladies, This is August

One of the great challenges of the independent performing arts is arguably to reach and engage the general public. If logistics and budget weren’t a consideration, what would be the craziest scheme you could think of to attract new theatre-goers?

Free tickets for everything. Theatre that pays equity wages, that has a meaningful design budget, that has sufficient rehearsal time often doesn’t come anywhere near recouping. What’s the point in charge $20 for a ticket in order to make 10% of your budget in ticket sales. Make everything free, let folks who don’t have access otherwise see theatre. Let people who think they know what theatre is from one bad experience in high school see what theatre can be.

Summerworks pieces are often socially and politically minded. If you had to write a musical about Donald Trump but could not include any part of his name in the title, what would it be called?

I refuse to answer this questions as it will simply add one more hit to his name online which I don’t need on my conscious.

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