Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Spotlight On...Jeremy Bloom

Name: Jeremy Bloom
Stamford, Connecticut

Education: Northwestern - Performance Studies and Poetry

Favorite Credits:
La Boheme (Spoken), Peter~Wendy (Dark), Leaves of Grass (Nude), and this year it was quite a blessing to do the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab. 

Why theater?: I used to want to be an architect, but am not so interested in practical things.  So, I am moved by spaces and the way people are affected by their surroundings. 

Tell us about The Girl of the Golden West: It's a Western!  It's a hoe-down.  It's a lovey story.  We're making a new western from David Belasco's novel of the same name (it was also a play and a Puccini opera), without particular attention to gender, historical accuracy or reason.  We use all types of music, composed by several cast members, phat beats and a stellar cast to make this epic classic intimate, immediate, and hilarious.  Our story takes place at the Polka Saloon, run by the only girl in a mining camp.  Everybody wants to marry her, but she still has her first kiss to give.  A stranger comes to town and changes the whole game.  It's dangerous. 

What inspired you to create The Girl of the Golden West?: I first noticed this existed in a coffee table book that had a photo from the Broadway production a hundred years ago.  I mean I first became interested in doing a cowgirl type of story because as a child, I gravitated towards the cowboy version of legos and play mobil.  The saloons, the cards, the guns... irresistible.   And anyway, after a while I had read the play and discussed doing it with Jen Mckenna - we didn't really like the play though.  But it turns out the book is amazing, it's as golden as the girl.  Using that has made an adaptation kind of opposite of Puccini's adaptation, more intimate and rip-roaring.  Once it was happening, the cast Catherine Brookman, Starr Busby, Tom Hennes, Brian Rady and musicians Ellen O'Meara, Joe White and Lucas Segall literally inspire every moment of the show and are very magnificent. 

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: Theater that is elegant, confident, visual, surprising.  I hope we can all agree that Map of Virtue by Erin Courtney with Ken Russ Schmoll directing was the most thrilling thing in a while, and one of the more thrilling things of all time.  Also, of course, Les Ephemeres, Mabou Mines Dollhouse, Pina Bausch.  Also, my teachers, Mary Zimmerman, Frank Galati, Paul Edwards, Robin Schiff.  Then Patti Smith in general, as well as Elizabeth Bishop, Allen Ginsberg, Sandra Bernhard, and Caetano Veloso, and Avan Lava, Maria Striar, Lonesome George, Jenny Schwartz, Mother Nature, the team for this show to name a very few...  

If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: Senior citizens!

What shows have you recommended to your friends?: All of Clubbed Thumb this summer and Uncle Vanya

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: I would be played by a stop animated puppet, made by our wonderful costume designer, Kathleen Doyle, made out of paper.  It might not have a title. 

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: Avocados  

If you weren’t working in theater, you would be _____?: A housepainter! 

What’s up next?: A new play about dying horses - Lameness of a Horse!  And a new adaptation of "Peter Pan" at Montclair State University.

For more on Jeremy, visit