Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Spotlight On...Patrick Scheid

Name: Patrick Scheid

Hometown: Ramsey, NJ

Education: BA in Theatre and in History from Muhlenberg College

Favorite Credits: My work with TRE (Rode in Three Seagulls, Carlos in American Play, man in Salesmen), the Student in Strindberg's Ghost Sonata, Orpheus in Polaroid Stories, all of my characters in The Possibilities, just to name a few...

Why theater?: Theater because it's messy and ephemeral and can hold many histories at once and a great amount of magic in the smallest, simplest things; and because as a performer I can have eye contact with the spectator, or at least feel their presence in the room. We are in the same room and I can indulge in a genuine exchange. Practically, I choose theater, because it's what i'm trained to do and how to see the world. But I'm glad it's theater.

Tell us about Zara Notes: Zara Notes is a month-long performance installation about Nietzsche's "Thus Spake Zarathustra". It is currently in it's third week. Wed-Sat the space is open for 4-6 hours and the performance is happening. Audience members enter when they like, take part in the world of the piece, and then leave when they are ready. At the end of each day, I leave everything as it is and resume the next day. It truly feels like a performance odyssey as I try to get closer to Nietzsche's mountain-dwelling prophet and explore the dangers of solitude/sociability. Sometimes we grab tools and smash tables, and sometimes we build newer, better ones with the materials available in the space. Sometimes we just talk or laugh. It's a wild ride, a crazy performance experience unlike anything I've attempted. So much depends on who walks through the door and what they are willing to share. But the work is developing as more and more people leave their mark. People should come soon, it closes May 3rd.

What inspired you to create Zara Notes?: I had to make Zara Notes because I read "Zarathustra", found it beautiful, strange, thought-provoking, and I didn't really understand it. Since I believe in performance as a means of learning (as a great mentor once proved to me) I set out to stage the book as it inspired me. Zara Notes has now had three vastly different mountings (some may have seen our highly theatrical production of it last summer at HERE), because each new re-imagining of the work has provided a great depth of insight into these ideas and what they can mean for me.

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: I love theater that subverts my expectations, challenges me, and leaves me shaken. Pieces that are full of difficulty, unexpected laughter, past-ness, and a healthy smidgen of the mythic. Pieces where "the veil of things as they seem" is ragged and torn. This theater doesn't have to reassure me, it only has to  move me, make me wonder and awe at the world before me.

If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: So many people still to work with - Taylor Mac, Tim Crouch, Howard Barker, Simon McBurney, Michael Fassbender, Charlie Chaplin… *sigh* someday.

What show have you recommended to your friends?: Recently recommended DTP's Searching for Sebald. Can't wait for it to come out.

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: In the feature film “Subway Furniture Hustle”, poor James McAvoy or possibly Daniel Craig or even Jason Stratham (obviously) will be doomed to transport large pieces of set furnishings via subway as he moves from project to project, battling crowds and the raging extremes of temperature the whole way. High octane adventure full of surprising cameos and Christopher Nolan-esque twists.

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: Pretzels. I'm addicted to those little beauties. (Snyder's pretzels of course)

What’s the most played song on your iTunes?: Either James Vincent McMorrow's "This Old Dark Machine" or Hugh Trimble's "Sold for Fire"

If you weren’t working in theater, you would be _____?: Probably a dusty academic accepting coffee intravenously and compiling large tomes of colorfully dramatic accounts about America's colonial past and Britain's rise to imperial power. Then again teaching is still performing...

What’s up next?: You on the Moors Now with Theater Reconstruction Ensemble. Definitely stay tuned for this smart, savvy, heart-rending parkour through "Pride & Prejudice", "Jane Eyre", "Wuthering Heights", "Little Women", and the many many layers of Love.