Thursday, July 3, 2014

Spotlight On...Kevin Purcell

Name: Kevin Purcell

Hometown: Melbourne, Australia

Education: Lots – too much?

Favorite Credits: Cats (West End, South Korea), Wicked (First UK /Eire Tour), Festival of Broadway: Broadway Come To Australia

Why theater?: Because of its visceral capacity to effect, and profoundly effect people unlike any other artform, especially when music is added.

Tell us about The Mapmakers Opera: Set on the eve of the Mexican Revolution in the place of the ‘Mundo Maya’, the musical recounts the poignant story of a young Spaniard, Diego Clemente, and La Señorita Sofia Duarte – star-crossed lovers whose fate is sealed by a desperate quest to save two, once-common, birds from extinction. From childhood days in his native Spain spent poring over a copy of John J. Audubon's luminous bird illustrations, young Clemente had dreamed of seeing such birds in person. When an opportunity to work with a famous naturalist in Mexico presents itself, Diego sets sail for the Yucatán Peninsula where, upon arriving, he falls in love with Sofia, a beautiful but defiant woman as entranced by these beautiful avian creatures as he. The action takes place in 1909, in and around the city of Mérida in the Yucatán Peninsula, where local plantation owners ostentatiously enjoy their vast wealth amassed from the backbreaking toil of Mayans who, from dawn to nightfall, are forced to harvest the prized henequen With revolutionary rumblings in the background, the story reaches its powerful and heart-breaking climax when a workers' uprising threatens not only two of the world's only remaining passenger pigeons - being held in captivity by a powerful and avaricious local plantation owner - but the very lives of the young lovers.

What inspired you to create The Mapmaker’s Opera?: The 2007 novel, "The Mapmaker’s Opera" by Canadian/Spanish autor, Béa Gonzalez

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?:
Theatre that transforms peoples perceptions of humanity and the capacity of human beings to change.  My wife, Janine, inspires me as an artist – and all the extraordinary songwriters and lyricists of the American Songbook.

If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?:
Bartlett Sher

What show have you recommended to your friends?: Violet

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: Jason Alexander and the film would be called, “The Purcell Pitch” (with apologies to Jerry Seinfeld)

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: Red Wine

What’s the most played song on your iTunes?: William Walton: “Symphony No. 1”

If you weren’t working in theater, you would be _____?: Dead

What’s up next?: Musical theatre stage adaptation of the 2012 novel, "The Keeper of Secrets" by New Zealand author Julie Thomas.