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Audax Theatre

Home arrow Brando, NY Interview
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Daniel  filed his cyberspace interview Saturday, March 27, 2004.

As the playwright could you give us your thoughts as to whatBrando is about and why you believe audiences should see this play?
Brando is about a troubled couple and their unusual friends who come into contact with Marlon Brando. The couple, Butler and Laurel, have just returned from an unsatisfying honeymoon in Africa where they both became obsessed with an ancient Masai right of passage: a lion hunt and the subsequent circumcision of the young lion hunter. Butler, obsessed too with souvenirs, bribes the Masai tribesmen for the actual lion-hunting spear and brings it back to his New York apartment.
At home, awaiting the newlyweds, is a wedding present from Butler's friend David Block, a gallery-owner. the gift is a post-modern sculpture in the form of a working telephone. When that phone rings...Marlon Brando is calling. After many conversations with Brando, Laurel disappears. Butler, convinced she's been kidnapped by the aging icon, must garner the courage to confront Brando and get back his wife.
Brando is a very American play, addressing our country's amazing penchant for delusion, sugar-coating, repression, sexual obsession and childishness. I think an audience will find Brando funny, funny, funny, but also rather poignant. Or...if you're curious about what it would be like to hang-out with Marlon Brando for a few days, here's your chance!
Why Marlon Brando and not some other icon past or present?
Marlon Brando's life is rife with these themes: the souring of beauty, the deterioration of the mind, the inability of a "prince" to become a "king", the death of dignity, and the dark side of high-end eccentricity. He's been everything: a hero, a god, a lout, a fatso, a weirdo, an evangelist, not to mention a rebel! If you indulge the idea that in the post-atomic era (post WW II) God has evacuated his throne room, you might also wonder who has filled that seat? Brando answers that difficult question, humorously and bravely.
The Audax Theatre Group, which you co-founded, has produced two other plays that you wrote. Why do you feel your group is the group of choice to present your plays?
The Audax Theatre Group is known for our incredibly high production values (we've been called "Broadway at off-off Broadway prices!"), and novel subject matter. All of our plays deal with twisted realities. Magical realism meets a good, old-fashioned potboiler! You just don't know what will happen in an Audax production. You really don't.
Audax means "bold". Why is this the word that describes your work?
Our "bold"ness stems from our desire to surprise audiences. Something we've been effectual with. We don't only give you a night of theatre, we give you a glimpse of a remarkable, new world, where anything can and will happen.
Once the director takes over how much input do you have in the finished production?
Our director, Hilary Adams, has been great. Brando is complex and involved and intricate and delicate. I've been at rehearsals answering questions about the script, and occasionally making a suggestion about how the world of Brando should look, sound, or feel, but Hilary is handling this world deftly if not beautifully. I mostly just sit back and marvel at the talent of our cast and crew.
From the description I have read the play sounds almost surreal, is this your take on it, too?
The play is surreal, but not heedlessly. Meaning, there is magic, outrage, and mysticism in the play, but all of it is contained inside a structured plot. I'm a firm believer in knowing the rules before you can break them. So while my plays have been described as "otherly" or "new" they never err on the side of nonsense: real events happen to real people, they just happen on my own twisted terms.
Are there future plans forBrando after its initial run; would you like to see it produced by other companies in other places?
We are hoping to take a small break after our projected May 1st close, and then consult with our producers and backers about an open-ended off-Broadway run in a big house. Brando's a big guy; he needs a big house!

Last update: 27 March, 2004