Monday, August 12, 2013

Spotlight On...Kevin Hourigan

Name: Kevin Hourigan

Hometown: Mountain Top, PA

Education: BFA, NYU (ETW, PHTS, ITW-Amsterdam)

Favorite Credits: Peggy Pregnant Skates (Theater for the New City, DreamUp!); Gentlemen of Kentucky (Dixon Place); Magellanica (Access Theater); The Sandbox, Let’s Tap, and Pyramus and Thisbe (The Workshop at Williamstown Theater Festival).

Why theater?: Because I haven't found an alternative profession that is equally humane, rigorous, and important. Because I believe in looking people in the eye when I speak to them. Because I like watching people fall in love.

Tell us about Talk to me about Shame: Talk to me about Shame is solo performance piece. Julian Goldhagan, the performer/creator of the work began his process on the piece thinking about the question - what would happen if people were given access to a space where they were safe to utter their shame aloud and engage with their shame in new configurations outside of the normal, policed social configurations of day-to-day life. Thus, Julian conducted scores of interviews with people all over the city and abroad. The show synthesizes excerpts from these narratives with accounts of Julian's own experiences with shame, resulting in an interactive theater piece which attempts to transform shame from an isolating, debilitating experience to an occasion for community building and empowerment.

What inspired your to direct Talk to me about Shame?: I grew up Catholic (13 years of Catholic school), so shame has always played a crucial role in my life. It has at times been a momentous albatross around my neck, and at other times, an enormous motivational force. This show, Talk to me about Shame has had two public showings previous to NY Fringe. I had been a big fan of Julian, and saw the show early in its first rehearsal process and was quite inspired by the work. It was thrilling to come onto the process for this incarnation of the piece.

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: Hm. I think the bad answer is any theater done well speaks to me. I am always most inspired as an audience member when I feel implicated in the action of the performance, or when it seems as though the actions onstage are of real consequence to the walls outside of the theater. Particularly important shows to me were the National Theatre of Scotland's Blackwatch and the Rude Mech's Method Gun.

If you could work with anyone you've yet to work with, who would it be?: Justin Vernon, rAndom international, Ivo van Hove

What show have you recommended to your friends?: Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812. Have you seen it?

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: OH NO. This is difficult. Ask me in a few years. I am told my look-alikes are Paul Bettany and Neil Patrick Harris, but I'm not sure that's totally apt. I'm sure a lot of people would think differently, but my instinct in this second is to say that I hope someone would make something that looks like a Tarantino-esque movie.

What's your biggest guilty pleasure?: This sounds like a question we would ask in Talk to me about Shame - you'll have to come to the show to hear my answer!

If you weren’t working in theater, you would be______:
Probably teaching. Or a scientist - probably a mathematician. Or else a politician or activist-type.

What's up next?: The night Shame closes, I open the other play I am directing, Peggy Pregnant Skates, at Theater for the New City's DreamUp! Festival. Then, I am assistant directing the TEAM's new show, RoosevElvis, directed by Rachel Chavkin.