Tuesday, May 29, 2012

ALL GIRL MOBY DICK - Interview with Erin Orr

BTW - ALL GIRL MOBY DICK has been extended thru JUNE 9TH!!!

Erin Orr as Ishmael (click on image to enlarge)

I (Warwick Johnson) recently got the chance to sit down with the wonderful Erin Orr, fellow Mammals company member and Ishmael in All Girl Moby Dick, to talk about the show and process in creating this show.

Warwick: First off, tell us about your character in the show (who they are/what they do/etc...). Were there any direct or indirect inspirations that you had when you were creating it?

Erin Orr: Ishmael is the narrator of the show and what's so interesting about this adaptation is that in so many adaptations, and even in the book sometimes, Ishmael is very plain and vanilla. A little boring. But, Bob and I really focused on the first chapter, with Ishmael talking about himself. And the thing that people so often just sweep over is the passage where he talks about going to sea because he's so angry that he's going to kill himself or kill other people. And so we're really taking him from a malcontent angry place, and starting him from there and having that whole character arc until [the end of the show]. It's a pretty huge transformation, and being within the action of the show and then being pulled out of the action of the show to narrate for the audience, and be the audience's eyes and the audience's voice too. It's a difficult balance.

W: Well, it seems like so often Ishmael is nothing but a cypher, someone that the audience can project themselves onto.

E: Ishmael has a definite personality here.

W: What has been the most challenging part of the process for you?

E: For me the most challenging part has been that Bob has asked me to incorporate my banjo playing into the show. Which is something that I started doing purely for me, that was going to be my creative outlet that didn't have to do with anyone else. That didn't have anyone else's judgement that was just for me and for no one else. And even the singing in it, the little bit of singing in it that I do are two things that really make me feel vulnerable and so it's been very interesting. Kind of scary. But it's awesome and I'm glad that I'm doing it. It's a huge challenge and if it wasn't hard it wouldn't be worth doing.

W: What's the most rewarding?

E: The most rewarding is getting the chance to play a character that most of the time I feel like I wouldn't be considered for. Because I don't really give off the malcontent, angry energy most of the time so I feel like a lot of people would have trouble seeing that so it's nice that I've worked with the Mammals and with Bob so much that he thinks I'm capable of it and won't let me give up. And it's tough and I like it.

W: Good. What aspect or scene in the show are you most excited for the audience to witness?

E: I think there's a whole lot. I mean, I'm really excited about the audience seeing all women doing this show.  Not just because it's women doing the show, it's not a feminist statement, and it's not a gimmick. I think I'm excited for the audience to see that gender is not of importance in this show, I mean they're just people. It doesn't matter if it's a man or a woman. They're people having real human experiences and real human emotions, and why does it matter what their gender is? And to be able to allow women to grab these roles and really sink their teeth into like they're never really going to get to again. So I'm excited for that. I think in the beginning of the show they're going to see that it's all women, but by the end of the show they'll say "oh that's right, it was all women".

W: What attracted you to this project in the first place? 

E: Cause I love the Chicago Mammals! But really, I was involved in the workshop as Ishmael which was kind of my audition for this. And I was excited to fill things in and create this character. I was telling Bob that female characters, their character center is either the head, the heart, or the pelvis. That's where their energy comes from. But so many of these characters because they're so masculine in this show, they're all coming from their guts. And it's exciting to be able to do that.

Get your reservations fast!!!!

ALL GIRL MOBY DICK has been extended thru JUNE 9th!!!

Remaining Performance Dates are as follows

Friday and Saturday May 18th and 19th
Friday and Saturday May 25th and 26th
Friday and Saturday June 1st and 2nd
Friday and Saturday June 8th and 9th

All performances are at 8pm – BYOB
Zoo Studios
4001 N. Ravenswood Ave Ste 205
Chicago, IL 60613

Reservations can be made by calling 866-593-4614 - Suggested Donation - $20.00

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