Friday, June 6, 2014

Spotlight On...Gina Femia

photo courtesy of Jody Christopherson
Name: Gina Femia

Brooklyn, NY

Education: MFA Sarah Lawrence College, BFA SUNY Purchase

Favorite Credits: Happily Never Ever (United Solo Festival, Estrogenius Sola Voce Fest), Super, or, How Clark Graves Learned to Fly (SC/NY New Play Exchange, 2014 Semi-Finalist for the Eugene O’Neill Playwrights Conference).

Why theater?: Theatre tells stories that are not meant to be contained on the page; they need to be seen, heard, and witnessed live, surrounded by community.  It has the ability to connect us while we sit in silence, to transport us to other worlds in a more tangible way than even film can.  I am always looking for new stories to tell and new ways to tell them.  Theatre inspires me in a way that no other artform does; it is my heartbeat and so much more. 

Tell us about Mahogany Brown and the Case of the Disappearing Kid:
Mahogany Brown is a noir-comic inspired genre piece.  It’s funny, creepy and heartbreaking. 

What inspired you to write Mahogany Brown and the Case of the Disappearing Kid?:
The Comic Book Theatre Festival did!  Literally, I saw their call for comic inspired plays, specifically asking for plays that marry the two forms and wanted to write a story that brings a comic to life.  Once I began, the story just fell out of me and I wrote the majority of it on the subway, during my commute home from work (the City is also a pretty big influence in the story).   

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: Big theatre that tells intimate stories.  Magical stories that use raw, gritty language.  Plays that take us on an unexpected journey and tell old stories in new and interesting ways.   As for playwrights, Stephen Adley Guirgis has been my biggest inspiration and influence alongside Qui Nguyen (especially his play The Inexplicable Redemption of Agent G).  I also find myself going back to Lynn Rosen’s amazing play Goldor $ Mythika which has influenced me as a storyteller as well as a observer.

If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?:
There are some directors I would love to work with, especially Shana Gold who directed Goldor $ Mythika.  I’d also love to work with Daniella Topol, Leigh Silverman and Jackson Gay. 

What show have you recommended to your friends?:
I just recently recommended Flux Theatre Ensemble’s Jane the Plain by August Schulenburg, which was everything I want out of theatre and more!  As for Broadway, I highly recommend somehow getting a chance to see Hedwig and the Angry Inch while it’s playing.

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: I think it would be an animated movie called "The Stubbornly Optimistic Tale of the Crazy Cat" from Brooklyn.  I'd be a cat.  I think Kristen Wiig could nail my accent. And it would be a muUUuuusiCAL!

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?:
My biggest pleasure that people judge is definitely my love of Disney – though I don’t find any guilt in it!

What’s the most played song on your iTunes?: I use Spotify!  We don’t get cool stats like that (at least I don’t think so) but I bet you anything it’s “Let it Go” from "Frozen"!  Yeah!

If you weren’t working in theater, you would be _____?: Really bored. Or working in a bank, I think. 

What’s up next?: I’m  gearing up for a residency at the end of the month with SPACE at Ryder Farm where I plan on writing a good chunk of my play about female roller derby and relationships.   I’ll be spending the summer creating a piece that’s inspired by "Burlesque" with director Taylor Reynolds and tweaking Undead Anonymous, a solo show I’ve written for Theresa Buchheister to perform which will premiere in November as part of The United Solo Festival.