New Life for Death of a Salesman

Reviewed by Bob Greene

with photos by Jonathan M. Smith

 

DSCF3982yThe authors of the 1930s and 40s were clairvoyant. Elmer Rice’s vision of a mechanized workplace in The Adding Machine still rings true; the sexual and social mores of any Tennessee Williams play are more poignant than ever; and the specter of age and the mistaken American dream lives and breathes on in Arthur Miller’s Death of Salesman. Ernest Barzaga and a team of young artists took the latter play and ran with it. When one considers the current unemployment rate; the astronomical amount of college grads not finding suitable work for their expensive degrees; and simply the lack of integrity in the workplace, you are that much more chilled by the foreboding realities of Arthur Miller when spoken by those more junior than the roles.

Nay-Sayers will only have about 10 minutes before they eat their words with this production. Lavishly designed and executed, Barzaga’s production is a marvel to look at, making it easy to slip into the magic of this play.

The praise doesn’t stop with the set and lights. The complement of young actors all does true justice to the project.

The titular “salesman” is of course Willy Loman. Ian Cooper turns in a brilliant performance. Never overdone or caricatured, Cooper brings a painful reality to Loman. While his hair and make-up were completely not period, his manner and delivery allowed us to simply accept this as a man down and out and sinking fast. His hirsute face gave us the feeling he was farer gone mentally than the play suggests and his natural stage ability made this all work.

DSCF3726Of equal strength is Anna Paone as his long suffering overly-devoted wife, Linda. Frank Langella once cited that it’s easy to just scream on stage and not have anything under it. Ms. Paone certainly did. Every look and breath told a deep story and her agony at the play’s tragic end was felt by all. You truly were concerned for “mom” now that dad was gone.

 

On that topic, David Levi and Aaron Ogle as Happy and Biff – respectively – turned in excellent showings. Often over-analyzed, Levi and Ogle played the earthiness of the roles and built a fine camaraderie, which sustained through the end. Levi could have run with the famed restaurant scene even more and Ogle could have been darker in the bitter edge of Biff but both carried themselves excellently. Brilliant star-turns came from David Melgar as the “geeky” Bernard, who grows to be an asset to his family. His hair-style – again – like Cooper – was a serious distraction but his talent allowed us to look the other way; Gianni Damaia as neighbor and best friend Charley was mature and solid with an excellent speaking voice and inner life; Caycee Kolodney was the only one on the stage when he appeared as Uncle Ben. Taking more than a few cues from Williams’ Big Daddy, his stage presence was simply the best; and as Howard, Alexander Gheesling’s young appearance added the most chilling factor as he portrayed today’s parable of the workplace. His icy delivery against the imploring of Cooper was enough to induce tears. Eileen Weisinger’s erotic gestures and laugh as Loman’s hotel dalliance provided surprising shock value to the production. This added darkness was a very clever touch. The supporting ensemble in a play of this era usually disappears but, again, the commitment of Elie Kenwood, Hunter Wolfson, and Alli Green was superb and each scene had true craftsmanship and urgency.

As mentioned, make-up and hair seemed to be an after-thought, which is surprising considering the entire production’s attention to detail. Had they all simply focused on 1940/50s period make-up, their acting ability would have done the rest. Surprising what a little hair gel and rouge can do.

The John Cullum stage is huge by off-off Broadway standards and Ernest Barzaga (as assisted by Molly Wilder), moved his artists around it masterfully. Bringing his actors to a boil with such depth of feeling is also a feather in his cap.

Last note to Mr. Barzaga … wear long pants when giving the curtain speech.

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The aforementioned Nay-Sayers will only be able to leave Death of a Salesman wondering what these fine artists will do for an encore.

The Sound of Music

Review by Natasha Dawsen

New Age methods of healing and replenishment are en vogue today on a palpable level. Homeopathic cures, meditation, Reiki, aromatherapy, and so many others are rapidly becoming a solid choice to pills and other allopathic methods. The latest on the scene is Sound & Music Healing.

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Reverend Mary (aka Mary Elizabeth Micari) and a group of musician/healers came together at the legendary 13th Street Playhouse on Sunday, August 14, for a concert-style presentation of sound & music healing.

It was a clever idea to put this event in a theatre as opposed to a more “spiritual’ location. Those novice members of the audience might be dubious or intimidated to attend such an event at the Open Center of other more focused organizations while those who understand this – and similar – practices, got the treat of going to one of the last of the great off-off Broadway theatres left in New York.

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The evening started out with “Singing Bowls” provided by Daniel Lauter. Mr. Lauter started the program softly with a mediation involving the stunning sound emanating from large white [what looked like] glass bowls. After a quick intro as to what the night would bring, his soft voice and entrancing vibrations put the audience into the proper mood for what came next.

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George Brandon, a sonorous-toned African-American artist, then premiered a new composition entitled “My Call.” A retro-sounding piece, utilizing all the artists of the night, was both hypnotic and enjoyable. It entertained while proving to be a fine example of how music changes the mood. He concluded with a meditation of his own – just as relaxing as Mr. Lauter, but deeper in thought.

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In between him, was one of three back-up artists, Erik Lawrence. Mr. Lawrence chatted at length with the audience, and then briefly played his saxophone as a tribute to his father.

Mr. Lawrence seemed personable enough, but could have spoke less and played more as he displayed great potential.

 

 

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The second act introduced the evening’s producer; Reverend Mary, assisted by harpist Richard Spendio. Rev. Mary, a classically trained singer, ushered in her section with a lovely voice and instrumental highlighting Mr. Spendio’s brilliant harp-playing. Her beautiful voice, coupled with some ancient instrumentation, allowed our minds to wander to beautiful places. She then handed in a marvelous section based on her own cultures. Singing and reading poetry in Calabrese, Italian, and old Gaelic (Irish), Rev. Mary presented us with a worthy meal flavored with the spices of lilting melodies, inspirational lyrics and prose, and solid accompaniment. It was a perfect example of how music hath charms to soothe the savage breast.  Mr. Spendio’s harp-work ripped through the warm air, transporting us to the times when our ancestors wrote these tunes.

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Malia Kulp – another of the evening’s supporting players – did not fare as well as her fellow performers. Her grasp of sound & music healing did not seem as strong as her older and more trained colleagues, thus her contribution seemed heavy on improvisation and theatricality, making her look unprepared and even insulting as several audience members grumbled at her intention of laying-on of hands.

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The finale was a rousing mixture of singing, chanting, drum (and other instrument) playing that got the audience on its feet and dancing – literally – out the door.

If one were to attend a showing of this type at –say– the Sage Center or even Brooklyn’s Maha Rose, one might enjoy the effects but, in this form, the total understanding of how sound & music healing is in our daily lives and its true accessibility came through loud and clear.

Mssrs. Lauter and Brandon, as well as Rev. Mary had CDs available as well as other tools of enlightenment and entertainment (including an entire homeopathic product line by Rev. Mary)

 

 

For further information, visit https://soundandmusichealingnyc.wordpress.com.

The World According to Matt

Matt Phillips, one of the creators behind the visually stunning new play, THE COWARD, premiering at the 20th Anniversary Fringe Festival this year shared a few out-of-this-world thoughts on his out-of-this-world art. 

12970787_1010891652323623_2020394253946154193_oWe hear a lot about inspiration – or Muse – that drives an artist. What inspires you?

The people I work with. So often my plans for how something will work are wrong right off the bat and when that happens the other people in the room almost always show me the right path. Also the future and the past. I like to dream of the world I will die in, and fantasies about the worlds that will never be again. 

What do you want most in your chosen profession? It’s OK to say “fame” or “wealth.”

I want to make an impact on the dialogue. I hope that after I’m dead someone will make some groundbreaking work and on he laundry list of ins rations, or maybe in an interview like this, My work will be one of the things that inspired. 

Sally Field and Paul Newman both said of their profession… “it’s all I can do.” Is this all you can do?

I am a performer, i can do other things but those things feel like a chore. when I perform I know who I am. 

Along those lines, if you couldn’t so this, what would you do?

Probably ride the rails and just travel. Theatre is the lens that makes the world make sense to me if that wasn’t an option I don’t think I would want to be in this world. or maybe I’d be a politician… but I hate suits so probably not. 

Last words? 

Thank you for having any interest in what I have to say. It is bizarre and wonderful all at the same time. I hope to see you at the Coward a Madcap Fairytale at Fringe NYC.

Count on it, my enlightened friend. 

Coward Postcard  FRONTLook for an interview with his partner, Maddy Campbell in DramaQueensReviews. 

The Five Year Plan – An Ongoing Series

A rant by Bob Greene

Why do so many people change direction in life? Is it because things are too tough out there? Maybe the world changes quicker and more drastic than planned? Or maybe it’s just that we don’t know what we want!

Ali Kennedy Scott is impressive. Writer and star of an acclaimed one-person play,  The Day the Sky Turned Black, chronicling “Black Saturday,” Australia’s greatest natural disaster, she – for one of such tender years – seems to have a grip on her career. Not only does she have very reasonable goals, but she understands the way of the world and her responsibility to it.

4624591270_817x1158“Over the next five years I see myself creating, collaborating & performing. 
Creating purposeful work that helps heal, educate & entertain. Art that has a positive impact. I strongly believe in the power of art & theater to change the world. It did so with Tectonic’s ‘Laramie Project’, it’s doing so with Hamilton. When a piece of art transcends the boundaries of its space and impacts communities who haven’t physically seen the work, it implicitly changes the fabric of society and the way we think. And that’s the work I am striving for! It was the greatest privilege to hear from audience members of my solo show, The Day The Sky Turned Black, that seeing the play was healing. If I can keep doing work that is of benefit, I’ll be thrilled! Practically speaking, I’m currently writing my next solo show, it’s about women in leadership and I absolutely want to continue investigating this type of documentary style theater. In 5 years I I’d love to still be performing solo work regularly in the Off-Broadway context and touring to international festivals. 
Collaborating with ridiculously talented individuals to build art that delights and is magical. Creating sold out seasons of shows that people remember for years, that reinvent the medium, that push the boundaries of theater. Over the next few months, I’m looking forward to performing at La Mama in ‘Calderon’s Two Dreams’, and to collaborating with Marshall Experimental Theater Company on ‘Let Them Eat Cake: An American Love Story’, both plays will bring something new to audiences and that is tremendously exciting to me. Over the next five years, I hope to continue this kind of work.
Performing at top off-Broadway theaters and on screen. I’ve recently shot a couple of short films with amazing cast & crew and love the medium. I particularly love improvisation as a means of building film & episodic programs. A recent short film I shot incorporated a large section of 7 character improvisation – it was hilarious and very effective! As I look toward the next five-years I’d love to work as a series regular on a witty, ensemble comedy series in the vein of Veep, or a dramaedy like Orange Is The New Black. 
In short, making people think, laugh, inspiring hope, investigating complicated questions, creating great art, entertainment and a little magic – that’s my hope for the next five years.”
When Madonna was asked a similar question in the 1980s, her answer was to rule the world. Enlightened souls like Ali don’t ask to rule but to make a difference.
Encore!

The Five Year Plan – An Ongoing Series.

A rant by Bob Greene

Why do so many people change direction in life? Is it because things are too tough out there? Maybe the world changes quicker and more drastic than planned? Or maybe it’s just that we don’t know what we want!

The new production of Death of a Salesman features a bunch of young people taking their first steps into the professional theater. NOW’S the time to ask them… what’s next:

Anna Paone
LR9A7416 (1)I’m from Metuchen, NJ and went to school at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, although I studied film with a sub-concentration in screenwriting, not acting. However, I’ve also trained at George Street Playhouse and Atlantic Acting School.

In five years, I would like to be working in professional acting consistently in New York and in major regional theaters, and hopefully playing some dream roles. I’d also love to gain more film and television credits. I am currently writing a feature screenplay (a meta ’80s action-romance) and would like to play the lead if it is ever produced. I’m from New Jersey, so I grew up close to the city, but I love the excitement of Manhattan and would like to stay here for as long as possible. I also want to direct some dream theater projects, particularly larger shows for which I don’t have the resources right now. I am the artistic associate of a community theater company in New Jersey and would like to see that grow. Finally, I want to continue to grow personally and hopefully start a family of my own in the next five years.

 

Alli Green

AlliGreen2My hometown is Clifton, NJ and I just finished my studies at William Esper Studios.
Over the next five years I’ll have graduated college and will be working in the real world! I’ll also be working on writing and producing my own work. I hope to have landed some roles here and there in film and television. My soon-to-be podcast will be alive and well! Finally, I hope to be co-starring as Amy Poehler’s adult-child niece in a summer comedy blockbuster!

 

Elle Kenwood

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Within five years I plan to be practicing everything I can from my training at the Pace School of Performing Arts in a successful career in film and/or TV. I hope to keep a home-base in New York City and earn representation with a prestigious bicoastal agent since my original home is still in Los Angeles. I will be open to traveling to where ever my work takes me to collaborate with passionate, creative,

individuals. I sincerely hope to be working with all of the extremely multi-talented teachers, and actors in my FTVC program. I will also be working hard, staying enthusiastic, and appreciating all things that come with this amazing business of entertainment!

 

Alexander Gheesling

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In five years time I would like to see myself making strides on both practical and artistic goals: I would like to be working full-time as an actor, or at least part-time with some financial benefit. Representation would be key as well. But more importantly, I would like to be in a place where I can work on challenging character roles. Specifically I find myself very attracted to the new dynamic of “cinematic television,” and I think that playing a character on an innovative television show would be an artistic dream realized.

 

 

 

 

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ACTING SCHOOL: What makes Tahirah Stanley, Greg Pragel, and Mario Claudio so special?

 

A Rant from Bob Greene

Acting Schools are NOT meant to give you talent, they are meant to help that talent unearth. That’s is where many people become disenchanted. Just because you attend a school; just because you pay tuition, doesn’t mean you will be famous. You have to have it in you. here are three students who understood that.

Tahirah Stanley’s wild hair and piercing eyes make her tower above her fellow artists on stage and on screen. Her voice much like the line in Les Miz… “is soft as thunder.” The aforementioned piercing eyes act as a television to a powerful inner life. These were hers all along, no doubt but it took training at Lee Strasberg to allow her to access it. Ms. Stanley had great abilities … a simple turn of the head and laughter is elicited. A breath before a line creates drama; even the tilt of the tousled head in a musical break makes her the leader of a chorus number. This is the dance that happens when a talented soul meets a professional eye. Tahirah Stanley will surely be an asset to the industry, and it’s due to the time spent on her – and the belief given – by her teachers and mentors at Lee Strasberg.

 

cover“One of my teachers, at The Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute, once spoke about talent as a gift given from God. Everyone is good at something and for some reason acting was chosen for me. The Eleonora Duse Scholarship was one of the greatest gifts anyone has ever given me because it allowed me the opportunity to train with the best and gather skills necessary to be the confident actress I am today.” 

 

Greg Pragel recently received reviews that could be said were the best in a production of Hamlet … and he was playing Horatio. Pragel’s meticulous depiction of character; his perfect posture; his brilliantly projected tones, again, all there before, but Stella Adler’s staff of experts seemed to bring them out. At first glance you might not imagine him a powerful presence. Thin and unassuming, Greg Pragel packs a punch on stage. Sonorous voice, sphere of energy making him 20 feet tall, and a depth of character that is hypnotic. Here is another case of a teacher having faith in the student. It takes an acting teacher of great care to look deep into the eyes of the unassuming and pull the warrior.

image1 (1)“Pragel portrayed Horatio as the eyes of the play, witnessing, watching, and notating. One gets the idea that this play was written by him. Pragel made Horatio the most engaging – and identifiable – character on the stage. His immense presence was placed in a sensitive portrayal … his mastery of the language didn’t hurt either.”
OuterStage review of Hamlet

 

 

Finally, Mario Claudio, an AMDA grad, spent years in the M Center Master’s Program. He had two programs to help his rise. It seemed – strictly by timing that it was the M Center that did the trick. Recently Mario appeared as the lead in Generations, a concert produced by the M Center’s umbrella organization, Genesis Repertory. This one-night event acted as an audition of sorts. He used all he had learned from the staff at the M – voice manipulation, character creation, and vocal training. It caught the eye of two directors at the 13th Street Rep and today, Mario now has Hamlet (yes, Pragel’s production) under his belt and is currently running in the renowned play LINE, the longest running play in theatre history … ever. Claudio, slightly older that our other two actors, took some time off in between studies. But a fine teacher can unearth talent, no matter how dormant.

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“My time at the M Center, has and will always be the best decision I have made in my acting career. The personal one-on-one lessons made me feel comfortable in trying different styles and techniques in a nurturing and non-judgmental environment. They helped me obtain my untapped potential and boosted my confidence in my talents.”

 

 

Raw talent is exactly that… raw. When Marlon Brando walked in to his first audition, that smart director grabbed him but as history shows, his road was not a smooth one. James Dean first appeared in a low-budget sci-fi series in the 50s as a lab assistant … and was terrible.

We must return to the concept of pride in our art. If you strolled into a doctor’s office to be told that the doctor has no training but has a knack for healing, you would run out. If your lawyer said they never went to school but they can “read” people… you’d leave in a hurry, maybe even report them.

How about your sources for entertainment?

Even if you are on Off-Off, you need to have been In-In school.

Scalpel sharp tongues in this hospital play.

The family drama and the Jewish family drama are two very separate things and Joshua Kaplan’s well-done VISITING HOURS is a superb example of the latter.

Linda Stein, matriarch and crazy-maker of the family has hours left to live. She lay in a coma awaiting something she could never accomplish in life… silence. One by one, we meet a group of characters – her family – odd enough to be humorous but well-depicted enough to be real.

The play is summed up in the line: “sometimes families who love each other too much resemble families that don’t love each other at all” [or something like that].

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Photo by JMa&e

Scenic Designer Frank Oliva turned Theaterlab’s fascinating white-space is a most convincing hospital room and waiting area and then director Dina Vovsi primed a group of perfectly written characters upon it.

Leading the dysfunctional Semites is Michael Grew as son and caregiver, Jonah. Grew showed us years of pain and indecision, love and hate, and exhaustion from a life donated to his mother, with vigor. Each stiletto sharp one-liner danced the fine line between wanting release and needing his mommy. His posture told a story as well as his words. Beyond an inappropriate costume for a partner in a law firm, Grew was a rooting force throughout. Richarda Abrams understood she was the Greek chorus and delivered each line with an open-heart and ample wit. Amy Gaipa was masterful as Meredith, the damaged dysfunctional sister, trying to make amends with the silent mother without admitting any form of defeat; and Dan Grimaldi gave a restrained humble showing as the ex-husband whose love was still strong (and left only out of self-preservation). His gentle delivery and open-heart was refreshing amid the caustic banter. On that level, Kaplan didn’t make us pity or feel sad for the mother (a comatose Maureen Shannon). He didn’t pull punches or mince words in his depiction of this domineering character.

The supporting cast members were also noteworthy. Adam Bemis’ young doctor was superb as the eyes of the audience in weathering the ax-fall wit of people who love to hear themselves talk. Karen Tse Lee gave us tons of humor in her perfect depiction of a new age spiritualist. But the real brilliance was seen in Joel Stigliano, as Meredith’s ultra-loving quiet-like-a-saint husband.  Stigliano had the play’s moral and meaningful lines and delivered them with great power while never raising so much as a whisker.

Joshua Kaplan should be praised for not selling-out and making a hallmark card style play. He gave us what a family of strong intelligence and major dysfunction would act like from start to finish. By the nods and sighs from the sold-out, totally engaged crowd, he hit home.

Multi-Grain Sandman

By Amy M. Frateo

Lynn Navarra writes in the old ways. There is something to be said for that, on an academic level, but sadly audiences need to be prepared for “classic’ style drama.

Her play, The Sandman, depicts the story of an immigrant family from Ireland who try to make their way in the world by running a bar won with gambling money. Organized crime and gangs of the area make that almost impossible. The play sports a cast of nearly a  dozen and runs in the neighborhood of two and a half hours with a dozen scenes in Act II.

Sound like it came from the Williams, Miller, O’Neill era? Wrong. This piece takes places in the late 70s and was written recent enough to be a world premiere.

On the praiseworthy side, it’s well-written, very well-acted and directed, and had a realistic and well-designed set. Ken Coughlin, who directed, designed, and starred in the play did a masterful job in all his facets. His Tommy, the Irish bartender, sported a realistic brogue, strong stage presence and consistency of emotion. He moved his cast well across the expansive John Cullum stage of the ATA, and gave us a realistic and well-detailed bar to hang-out in. However, technical glitches made for long light changes, missed or messed cues, and sometimes too much light thus revealing what we weren’t supposed to see.

No lack of praise goes to Michael Bordwell and Valerie O’Hara, who gave truly standout performances as Paul, the street-smart cop-with-the-heart-of-gold and Peggy, a down-and-out actress who we learn wasn’t a has-been as much as a never-got-there.  Bordwell has a powerful stage presence that easily transformed into that of a fearless law officer in a time when danger was everywhere; and the real emotion of O’Hara plus inspired touches of staging (a move with a  wine glass gave us a chilling foreshadow) made her subplot worthy of its own play. [See an upcoming article on her and Coughlin in DramaQueens.wordpress].

Ms. Navarra would have been better served liberally cutting and combining before this run or saving this play for the big budget theatre or maybe making it a screenplay where even an austere camera budget could have accommodated the massive effort.

With that in mind, Mr. Coughlin is a brave man and glitches aside, did an excellent job.

Adding “The Mushroom Cure” to Your OCD

Psychedelic mushrooms might be able to help those with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

by Rafaella Gunz

This is the premise of comedian Adam Strauss’ one-man show, The Mushroom Cure, showing at Cherry Lane Theater until August 13th.

The show is autobiographical, based on Strauss’ real struggles with this mental health condition. Strauss was diagnosed with OCD after a breakup in his late twenties, though he had been seeing therapists and trying medication for other diagnoses, such as generalized anxiety disorder and moodiness. “I grew up in Newton, Massachusetts which has, I don’t know if this is true, but it was always said that it has the highest per capita of psychiatrists for any city in the world,” Strauss says. “I wasn’t diagnosed with OCD until I had already been on medication for about 10 years. And the OCD didn’t even emerge as OCD until around that time.”

“I was on all sorts of medications for about 15 years and about 6 or 7 of those years were when I was specifically diagnosed with OCD,” Strauss explains. “I tried I think every SSRI that was on the market then. I tried benzodiazepines, I tried stuff that I don’t even know what class of medication it is, I tried everything.”

Strauss’ OCD was rooted in decision making, and he was desperate to find something that worked for him after not reacting that positively to all the medications he had tried. That’s when he found something online about the benefits of psychedelic mushrooms for people living with OCD, so he gave it a shot.

While the mushrooms didn’t entirely cure his OCD, he did find them to be beneficial and has become an advocate for advancing medical research of them. In fact, all the profits from The Mushroom Cure go to MAPS, a foundation that looks to make psychedelic medicine a legal treatment. “There’s a lot more research coming out now than there has been in the past few decades but there’s still only a trickle,” Strauss says. “[MAPS] annual budget is $4 million, whereas Pfizer spent $210 million last year just to market Cialis. So the amount of money going into research is infinitesimal compared to the amount that’s going into pharmaceuticals. As a result, stuff is received relatively slowly.”

Aside from the mushrooms, another thing that has helped Strauss cope with his OCD is a 12-step group called Obsessive Compulsive Anonymous. “In my mind that was at least as important as the psychedelics for me,” he says. “It’s a great resource for people with OCD. It’s free, they have phone meetings so you just call in. No one has to know you’re there, you don’t have to talk if you don’t want. I got a lot out of that, I still get a lot out of it.”

When it comes to representations of OCD, Strauss notices they tend to be trivialized. “On the one hand, OCD is viewed as a trivial thing – people saying ‘I’m so OCD I spent three hours cleaning my apartment this weekend just because my parents are coming.’ So it’s trivialized but on the other hand I think when people are really confronted with real, heavy duty OCD, it’s bizarre, it’s freakish, and it’s terrifying,” he explains. Additionally, many people also only assume OCD is about cleanliness rituals such as handwashing. As a matter of fact, he believes this is why he wasn’t diagnosed with the condition earlier on. “My experience, all the psychiatrists I saw did not diagnose me with OCD until I saw [the therapist mentioned in the play] and I think it’s because I didn’t have the stereotypical hand washing,” he says.

In terms of feedback Strauss has gotten, many people have approached him after the show because something in it resonated with them. “The people who talk to me, they’ve had some sort of experience that’s been powerful or real to them,” he says. “And that’s what I’m going for because I guess it’s sharing, really, I want to share my experience and have other people share with me as deeply as they can.”

After August 13th when the Cherry Lane showings of The Mushroom Cure ends, Strauss hopes to continue to put on this play in other theaters, or even create a movie version of it. “Telling this story is the most important thing in my life, to put it bluntly,” Strauss says. “I want to keep telling this story to whoever wants to hear it, in whatever form I can, wherever I can.”

 

A MINUTE WITH KEN COUGHLIN… cause that’s all he had!

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Ken Coughlin-FM ken

Ken Coughlin is currently serving as director of the New York premiere of SANDMAN at the historic American Theater of Actors. He is also the landmark theatre’s de-facto technical director for shows such as DEATH OF A SALESMAN, coming in later this month. He also just finished a starring role in Laurie Waugh’s production of Steve Silver’s play, MIRRORS, … and he appeared in Silver’s film, THE WATCHTOWER.

Whew!

We grabbed him for all of a minute about his life and work.

WE HEAR A LOT ABOUT INSPIRATION – OR MUSE – THAT DRIVES AN ARTIST. WHAT INSPIRES YOU?

I am a pure ham who loves being on stage, whether it’s acting, singing, and/or playing guitar.

WHAT DO YOU WANT MOST IN YOUR CHOSEN PROFESSION? IT’S OK TO SAY “FAME” OR “WEALTH.”

Again, I’m a pure ham, I love being on stage. If I can make some money doing it, that’s a bonus.

SALLY FIELD AND PAUL NEWMAN BOTH SAID OF THEIR PROFESSION… “IT’S ALL I CAN DO.” IS THIS ALL YOU CAN DO?

Not by a long shot. I do other types of performing, I program computers, I build and fix things, etc.

ALONG THOSE LINES, IF YOU COULDN’T SO THIS, WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

All the other things I already do. Working on computers, guitars, amplifiers, carpentry, etc.

LAST WORDS?

Live the life you love, and choose a great partner who becomes the love of your life, like I did.

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