Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Spotlight On...Justin Sayre

photo by Keith Gemerek
Name: Justin Sayre

Hometown: Forty Fort, Pennsylvania

Education: NYU, Michael Howard Studio

Favorite Credits: The Meeting* and Night of a Thousand Judys

Why theater?: It’s my first love and the art form which leads me to the most ideas and the most bliss. It’s sculpting in snow, gone before it’s finished and I love it. There’s no more powerful way to tell a story.

Tell us about Love’s Refrain: Love’s Refrain traces the life cycle of a star, through formation to death, and interweaves personal stories from my life to illustrate my own sense of romanticism. It’s the most personal and poetic piece I’ve ever written and I’m hoping it marks a new direction in my work.

What inspired you to write Love’s Refrain?: I was listening to a story on NPR about the death of the stars, the end of light in the universe, and it made me think about love. How will people know about Love? What will they wish on?

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: I’m inspired by all sorts of theatre and obsessed with it. I collect Cabinet Cards of Actors of the 19th Century, I read plays from around the world, I see as much as I can. I love new stories from different voices. I’m most thrilled by theatre that uses its limitations as its gift. There’s no CGI there just a group of people having an experience. I still think there’s something almost holy about that.

If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: So many people. I’m writing a play with Martha Plimpton in mind. And I would love to work with Blythe Danner or Viola Davis. I love Alex Timbers and David Cromer’s work. I’d die to have a play at the Public or the Guthrie.

What show have you recommended to your friends?: I’m taking recommendations recently. What do you got?

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: I think I would like Melissa McCarthy to play me. Beard her up and let her run. I think the title of the movie would be “Dime Store Bling.”

If you could go back in time and see any play or musical you missed, what would it be?: Kim Stanley or Eva Le Gallienne  or Ellen Terry in anything. The Glass Menagerie with Laurette Taylor. Geraldine Page in “Sweet Bird of Youth.”

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: I like a sour patch kids and streaming episodes of “Grey’s Anatomy.”

If you weren’t working in theater, you would be _____?: Writing books or working on TV. Like I’m doing anyway.

What’s up next?: Finishing a screenplay, and two new plays for the fall. More editions of The Meeting* and Night of a Thousand Judys.

For more on Love's Refrain, visit lamama.org