Friday, July 17, 2015

Spotlight On...Jesse Freedman

 Jesse Freedman

Hometown: Stamford, CT

BA Eugene Lang College, New School University, MFA in Theater from Sarah Lawrence College

Favorite Credits: 
I just directed a Gertrude Stein play called Paisieu through the Target Margin Labs. 

It is the hardest language I’ve ever encountered and the most fun I have ever had directing a play.

Why theater?:
 Because Dionysus demand it of us.

Tell us about Karaoke Bacchae:
 Karaoke Bacchae is an adaptation of a Greek Tragedy, set in Sports Bar, on Karaoke Night, during the World Cup. Karaoke night has been cancelled to watch the game, so the god Dionysus comes to the bar in the body of Iggy Pop with a bunch of drunken sorority girls and takes over. There is a lot of dancing. Its fun weird and raunchy.

What inspired you to create Karaoke Bacchae?: 
I was at this Sports bar on karaoke night and though to myself, instead of doing karaoke, I should go up there and do the Bacchae. That would be fun, or piss people off. 

There is a great interview with Iggy Pop from the Tom Snyder show in the 70’s. Iggy tells to Tom that his performance is “Dionysic” and explains the difference between Dionysian and Apollonian art. 

That was probably been floating around in my skull.

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?:
 I like Contemporary dance and dance theater. Artists with a strong choreographic and visual sensibility combined with a poetic sensibility, and a twisted sense of humor.

If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: Big Dance Theater, Jay Scheib, Dan Safar/Witness Relocation

What show have you recommended to your friends?:
 The first SITI Company show I saw, bobrauschenbergamerica, at the Rich Forum in Stamford, CT. I saw that show, went back the next night and brought 3 friends.

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: Wallace Shaw, and it would be called “My Seder With Andre’”

If you could go back in time and see any play or musical you missed, what would it be?: 
The 1957 broadway production of Shinbone Alley with Eddie Bracken and Eartha Kitt.
 Or something from Grotowski’s early work. 
Or the Theater for a New Audiences 2007 production of The Jew of Malta. 
Or the Wooster Groups production of Shaker Spirituals from a few months ago. I’m pissed I missed that.

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: Dollar Pizza.

If you weren’t working in theater, you would be _____?: A carpenter or something in the hudson valley.

What’s up next?:
 Karaoke Bacchae at the New Ohio Theater. Part of Ice Factory 2015. I’m developing a project exploring the creation of the Talmud through the lens of Kung Fu Movies.

For more on Karaoke Bacchae, visit