Sunday, March 27, 2016

Spotlight On...Dean Preston

Name: Dean Preston

Hometown: Millburn, NJ

Education: New School

Favorite Credits: Nicholas III: In Search of a Comet (LaMAMA 2012), The Government Inspector by Nikolai Gogol (StrangeDog Theatre Co. Reading Series)

Why theater?: I love live storytelling, and theatre is an incredibly flexible medium with an immense range of capabilities.

Tell us about Canned Laughter: Canned Laughter is a modern American play about why we choose to believe in the things we do, the reasons we value them, and how those things and beliefs come to shape who we are.

What inspired you to write Canned Laughter?: I initially wrote the play in class as a writing exercise to try out an alternative narrative style and to flip the cliche formula of 'people at a table talking about edgy issues' on its head. But over the years, the play grew and developed from there and I feel it has become something unique in it's own right.

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: The kind of theatre that speaks to me is theatre with a smart, modern perspective and memorable characters. I love a unique comedic tone. I'm very much inspired by those artists who don't take themselves too seriously but take their craft and vision with the utmost seriousness.

If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: Probably Spike Jonze or Kermit The Frog

What show have you recommended to your friends?: Hand To God by Robert Askins

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: Goddammit Michael... I don't know. Probably Jason Schwartzman in a remake of "Chocolat" but just about a guy who loves chocolate. Or Ryan Gosling.

If you could go back in time and see any play or musical you missed, what would it be?: So many... Annapurna by Sharr White with Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally, 2000's True West by Sam Shepard with Philip Seymour Hoffman and John C. Reilly, 1988's Waiting for Godot with Steve Martin and Robin Williams, and the original 1937 performance of The Cradle Will Rock by Marc Blitzstein and/or the first staging of the Oresteia.

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: Chocolate.

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

What’s up next?: I'm hoping to find a professional home to stage a run of Canned Laughter, but I am currently working on two features in pre-production and pitching number of projects for TV.