TPM Encounters: an interview with Ardith!

 “These plays have big beating hearts. Fear. Hope. Courage. Anger. But ultimately, there is love in them. And so much laughter.”

fraz_vs_futureWe’re gearing up around here and it has nothing to do with trees, candles or wrapping paper!  TPM ENCOUNTERS: Fraz Vs. The Future and Village Ax opens January 7th and we’re starting to feel like kids hopped up on peppermints and shortbread!

In eager anticipation, we interviewed TPM’s Artistic Director, Ardith Boxall to discover a little more about these plays, young artists at TPM and what exactly we might ENCOUNTER at the theatre!

TPM: Both Village Ax and Fraz Vs the Future are Fringe Festival productions.  What was it about these 2 shows that compelled you to program them for TPM’s regular audiences?

ArdithAB: The TPM audience is every bit as adventurous as the Fringe audience. We are sharing these shows not because they were in the Fringe but because the show’s creators are brave young artists who have so much to say about the world. They are rule breakers who are not afraid to strip their show down. No sets, no bells or whistles. As a result, pure performance, adrenalin, passion and more personality than should be legal. What better way to encounter a cold January night than to meet two young artists who burn with the heat of a thousand suns.

TPM: Is there anything in common between these two shows? Are they related thematically?

AB: There is adventure. And misadventure. These are stories about how we move forward even when the path seems like a nasty and ill-fated mission. Sometimes getting up in the morning, and sometimes saving the universe. It can take the same intrepid spirit to move about in our world.

These plays have big beating hearts. Fear. Hope. Courage. Anger. But ultimately, there is love in them. And so much laughter.

TPM: Do you feel there is a specific role that TPM plays for young artists in the community?

AB: TPM has always played a pivotal role for young theatre artists in the community. In fact, it was started in order to provide professional productions for local playwrights. Not the Fringe, not independent productions but professional shows with designers and a budget to elevate the artistry at every level. This kind of opportunity is about learning, growing and getting better…about developing your artistic practice.

TPM: What does TPM Encounters mean?

AB: THE PLAYS ARE THE ENCOUNTERS. We will encounter the writing. We will encounter the performance. We will encounter the creators. Fraz and Sydney are creators who crave an intimate encounter with their audiences. They speak directly to the audience, they share their personal experience through the lens of every character they and you will encounter.

They need something from the spectator and the relationship between performer and viewer is not a passive one. It is an encounter for Sydney and Fraz each time they perform.

TPM: What are some of those Encounters going to be? What can we expect?

AB: After some of the performances we will have what more traditional theatre calls “talk backs”. Our intrepid writer/performers are interested in doing something “with” the audience. “Talk Withs” may be a better way of describing it.

There will be surprises, spontaneity and probably some wonderful chaos. Sydney and Fraz would like to talk, laugh and share ideas with you. There might be painting, dancing, cocktails and time travel. There will be a sharing of space, ideas and energy. We will meet each other.