Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Spotlight On...Ryan Pointer

Name: Ryan Pointer

Hometown: Fort Worth, TX

Favorite Credits: Swing!, Amadeus

Why theater?: It’s really the most accurate way to check in with ourselves as human beings and see how we’re measuring up.

Tell us about Ms. Julie, Asian Equities: On an evening of holiday parties at investment bank Hadley Moore, Julie Harper – Director of Equity Sales – decides to forgo wine and cocktails with coworkers at a nearby club and opts to stay on the trading floor for chips and beer with the bank’s maintenance staff. Her desire to cut loose for a night leads her to Juan, a janitor for the firm. After some innocent flirting turns to something more serious, both Julie and Juan find themselves faced with a crisis of choice and consequence. Ms. Julie, Asian Equities takes August Strindberg’s classic play and updates it for the 99% and the 1%, with the sexual politics and class warfare fully intact. Is it possible to still rise to the top when you’ve reached the very bottom?

What inspired you to direct Ms. Julie, Asian Equities?: I was able to catch a production of the original play when I was in Paris a few years ago. It was presented as Mademoiselle Julie and was entirely in French. I don’t speak French, but was nonetheless riveted by the power struggle between these two individuals. Despite the language barrier, their great need was clear and the play felt very relevant. I brought the idea to playwright Leegrid Stevens about doing our own version of the play and he had the brilliant notion to set the play in modern day at a finance bank.

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: I’m drawn to adapted text that focuses on strong characters, is often experimental, and helps us figure out how to be better humans. I’m a big fan of Kneehigh, The Debate Society, Pig Iron, etc.

If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: Pretty much anyone with some free time and a good idea.

What show have you recommended to your friends?: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime has been my go to rec for a while.

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: Patrick Stewart, "Star Trek: Tempest".

If you could go back in time and see any play or musical you missed, what would it be?: The original production of Strindberg’s Miss Julie seems an appropriate answer.

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: Comic books.

If you weren’t working in theater, you would be _____?: Traveling in a circus.

What’s up next?: A devised adaptation of Fox’s Book of Martyrs.