Monday, July 7, 2014

Spotlight On...Danielle Dresden

Name: Danielle Dresden

Hometown: I consider Stony Brook, NY, my hometown.  Born in Kansas, I currently live in Madison, Wisconsin.

Education: University of Wisconsin-Madison, a couple of times, for a couple of reasons.

Favorite Credits: Now What with New World Performance Lab in Akron, OH;  Mangia, Mangia!; Help Wanted

Why theater?: I love how theater is always greater than the sum of its parts, and how it requires you to try to focus on everything all at once.  Also, I’m a curious kind of a writer who likes to write around people.

Tell us about Source Code: Candide: Source Code: Candide is my take on the classic satire by Voltaire.  I set it in the present and, instead of tackling a clueless optimism like Voltaire did, I go after fundamentalists of all kinds, including vegetarians.  I also consider it a rollicking and somewhat demented adventure.

What inspired you to write Source Code: Candide?: I’ve loved Voltaire’s book ever since I came across it as a kid.  I modernized it because I think there are a lot of sanctimonious types around today who could use a good mocking.

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: I go for theater that clamors for your attention at every second, theater developed, produced and performed by people who are passionately committed to the pursuit of something we all know we’ll never quite get.  But it’s that focused effort and impossible reach that captures my heart.

If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: I would like to work with Constantin Stanislavski and Vsevolod Meyerhold, because I think fusing their radically divergent approaches could result in something extraordinary, if it did not cause the Universe to explode.

What show have you recommended to your friends?: Anything Marian Seldes is in. Also, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson.

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?:  Hmm, maybe Marian Seldes could take my life to the next level – and the movie could be called "Verbal Girl".

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: I have so many.  Do the Naked Gun movies count?

What’s the most played song on your iPod?: I prefer the randomness of radio.

If you weren’t working in theater, you would be _____?: More financially secure.

What’s up next?: A site-specific work about my neighborhood in Madison, Wisconsin, produced by my company, TAPIT/new works Ensemble Theater, and our next door neighbors, Fresco Opera Theatre, who like to do arias in unusual contexts.  Opening August 1!