Extras: Interview with Jon Robin Baitz and Henry Wishcamper

Extras: Interview with Jon Robin Baitz and Henry Wishcamper

Posted by: Neena Arndt at 01/25/2013 02:24 PM

Several weeks before rehearsals began, Other Desert Cities director Henry Wishcamper spoke with playwright Jon Robin Baitz about the play. You can read much of their interview in OnStage, but here’s an interesting snippet that we didn’t have enough space to include in the magazine:

Henry Wishcamper: And it’s one of the things that I love about the play is that the liberal characters and the conservative characters are equally reasonable and they’re equally unreasonable. 

   Playwright Jon Robin Baitz

Jon Robin Baitz: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I see it everywhere. I go to dinner with my overwrought friends from the left who are saying stuff like, well they’re a Republican, of course they behave badly. Or I go to dinner with my friends who are Republican—I have those!!--and they’ll trot out the old tropes about the left. It’s such a simplification. I guess I’m more interested in the psychology at play in individuals than the beliefs they supposedly think they have. Most peoples’ beliefs are either handed down from either institutions or mom and dad. But I guess I’m more interested in this thing that I love to write about which is ambivalence.  Show me a character in this play who isn’t fuelled by his own ambivalence. There isn’t one. And I strive to make ambivalence a very active, theatrical force.

Director Henry Wishcamper in rehearsals with Chelcie Ross (Lyman Wyeth).  

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