Saturday, July 5, 2014

Spotlight On...Noemi Guadalupe de la Puente

Name: Noemi Guadalupe de la Puente (yeah, that’s my full name)

Hometown: Monterey Park, CA (now I live in Princeton, NJ but I grew up in Calif.)

Education: MFA Univ of Iowa, Patricia Roberts Harris Scholarship, MSE Princeton, BSE Caltech

Favorite Credits: My solo show “Fountain of Youth”, and this musical

Why theater?: Because it’s exciting, and real, and imperfect

What inspired you to write Manuel Versus the Statue of Liberty?: I was at a conference on Race Relations at Princeton University, listening to a panel discussion on the militarized boarder between the USA and Mexico, and a Princeton Professor mentioned this student, and quipped that the USA was obviously afraid of an influx of Ivy League students and Rhodes Scholars. I cornered her after the panel and asked her a ton of questions about this student, got details, tracked him down, interviewed him, and set out to create this musical. The only way I could take the details of this immigration story was if I made it a comedy, and the story was so epic that the only vessel large enough for it was a musical, therefore it had to be a musical comedy.

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: All kinds of theatre speaks to me: puppet shows, comedies, devised pieces, musicals,  solo shows, straight plays, I even look at sporting events as a type of theatre. I am inspired by spiritual practices, as well as when people do crazy, inconsistent things. I am greatly inspired by women playwrights, and playwright/performers. Although I do not watch TV as a rule, I am very inspired by the work Tina Fey has done.

If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?:
Moises Kaufman, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Susan Strohman, Julie Taymore, Tina Fey, Phillida Law, Emma Thompson, Flaherty and Ahrens, and if Bobby and Kristen Lopez or Trey Parker and Matt Stone wanted to work with me I would faint with joy!

What show have you recommended to your friends?: Always, Rachel; Mapmakers Opera; At Buffalo, Book of Mormon (not NYMF but still good), Avenue Q, NYMF in general - you can’t go wrong.

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: Tina Fey would star as me, and the film would be called “Noemi and Ron: a Ridiculous Love Story”. I think Will Farrell could play Ron, my husband.

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: Chocolate - yum - I just had two servings today. And Monty Python sketches - I have the whole collection on DVD.

What’s the most played song on your iTunes?: Something is wrong with my iTunes because it says I’ve played "Cherry Tree Lane part 2" (Mary Poppins cast album) 880 times, and that is not true. I tend to play lots of Kirtan music.

If you weren’t working in theater, you would be _____?:
An environmental activist

What’s up next?:
After NYMF I’ll look at the feedback and rewrite, plus I am working on a play called The Legend of Suicide Jack which is a comic western, a la "Blazing Saddles", about two poor women who resort to a life of crime to raise money to build a school.

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