Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Spotlight On...Nessa Norich

Name: Nessa Norich

Hometown: Teaneck, NJ

Education: Jacques Lecoq International School of Theater (Paris 2008-10), BA Barnard College

Favorite Credits: The Rub (Director)- Magic Futurebox, BK/ Den of Muses NoLa Fringe- An absurd site-specific adaptation of Hamlet, located in a 23,000 sq. ft. warehouse in Sunset Park, BK. Money (Co-creator/performer)- Crank Theater Co., Battersea Arts Center, London, Showbox Fest., Oslow- a highly visual dark comedy about the evils of a society that puts the pursuit of wealth before human compassion or Capitalism.  "The Ladies Almanac", feature film (Lead Actor)- An experimental film by Daviel Shy, shot on 35 mm film in Paris, exploring the legacy of Nathalie Clifford Barney and her circle of queer women artists living in Paris in the early 20th century.

Why theater?: It's live! It's alive! I'm interested in sensational experience, that engages an audience physically, emotionally and intellectually. I see live performance as a rare gift or offering: people take the time to come to a location you've given them, to see something you've created with all the love and pleasure you could muster, to pass a finite amount of time with you, to listen to and see what you've got to say! It's miraculous! It's generous! It's human!

Tell us about Steve: A Docu-Musical: Steve: A Docu-Musical is a love child of serendipity. Colin and his co-composer Andrew, cast a net into the ether- offering a service to transform poems into songs for anyone. A man sitting at his computer in Queensland, Australia found their site and for the next 8 years an unlikely creative collaboration unfolded into a life-changing relationship. These kinds of stories don't come along often. Bringing it to life onstage for a live audience has added a new dimension to the impact this relationship has had on Colin's life. Seeing its profound affect on NY audiences has been a gift for us.

What inspired you to direct Steve: A Docu-Musical?: When I read the script I said to Colin, "You have to let me direct this". I was blown away by the unlikelihood of their connection and the nature of its progression. It takes two very unique people to continue a correspondence like this for this long- with 23,000 miles and a generation between them, never having spoken face to face. I was interested in what gave their relationship its longevity, in what Colin got out of it, in what there was to discover between the lines of Colin's first-hand account. Also, I knew that the performability of the source material and the fact that this story was still ongoing was a great equation to wow audiences. I wanted to help Colin bring it all together with the love I knew he had for this relationship.

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: I am interested in ritualistic, imaginative, physical, political, ecstatic, visceral, comedic, relevant theater. The people who inspire me are artists who are taking theater to new kinds of audiences, who bend conventions to suit their unique voice. Anne Lyv Young is a badass. My friends, we call ourselves reSisters- Fannie Sosa, Poppy Liu, Poussey Drama, Oonagh Cousins, Maeve Bell, Syd Lazzara, Buoy- the theater companies I work with- NY Neo-Futurists and Crank- are making socially relevant, personal and urgent work. This is what it's all about for me.

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

What show have you recommended to your friends?: I recently saw Desiree Birch's one woman show, Tar Baby, which moved me with its honesty and inspired me with its confrontational flavor. Also, I recently saw Ann Lyv Young do couple's Sherapy- which inspired so many emotions in me from anger to pity to confusion. I couldn't tell what was real! Belarus Free Theater's Trash Cuisine at La Mama left me weeping for 10 minutes after the show.

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: In a movie about my life, I would definitely be played alternately by Jim Carey and my friend Syd Lazzara. It would be called, "NONSense and Sensibility".

If you could go back in time and see any play or musical you missed, what would it be?: Great question!! Maybe the original A Streetcar Named Desire on Broadway in 1947. Or some of The Living Theater's early performances. I wish I had seen Young Jean Lee's Songs of the Dragons Flying to Heaven.

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: There are no guilty pleasures, only grateful ones.

If you weren’t working in theater, you would be _____?: Living on a beach in Costa Rica, selling lanyard bracelets to tourists, practicing yoga and making up my memoirs.  Or a rockstar.

What’s up next?: A run with the NY Neo-Futurists in October and more collaborations with the reSister crew. I have an idea in the works that involves a feminist street theater collective. But it's too early to really talk about it...