Questions for a former Pickle (from Bill K.)

Begin forwarded message:

From: “Bill Kowinski”
Date: July 4, 2006 2:16:50 PM PDT
To: “bob doran”
Subject: Fw: interview for north coast journal

Bob–I just got this from Sara Felder. Do you want to post it on your blog?

Okay, sure, why not?

Oh no! Oh no! Oh no! Is it too late???
I’ve been on the road and I had it in the back of my mind to get back to you on this…. Oh no!!!!
Please let me know if you can get it in.

I so appreciate you putting out the good word for us and I hope that you have not already gone to press. (Oh no!)

Sorry Sara, we went to press yesterday…

Here are Bill’s questions and Sara’s answers…

What’s your show about? What will we see?
Out of Sight is a vaudevillian’s attempt to understand both her mother and the Israel/Palestine crisis. To do so, she revisits how her mother became blind — by staring at a solar eclipse as a child — and her own visit to Israel in the 80’s. It’s a comedy with content.
When did you write this show? Is this the first performance? (If not, some idea of performance history.)
Out of Sight was commissioned by the National Performance Network and premiered in Spring 2006 at the Painted Bride Art Center in Philadelphia. It has since been performed at the WomenSpeak Festival in Harrisburg, PA. This is its third venue. It usually takes me about a year of touring before the show settles in so I very mch consider these performances in Blue Lake as part of my process of creating the show.
What’s your background? Where are you from, etc?
I’m from a little shtetl in Brooklyn called Brighton Beach. I lived in San Francisco for 20 years before my partner got in the crazy notion to go to rabbi school. We moved, with our son, to Philadelphia three years ago and are counting the days (many) till we can return to the holy land of San Francisco. Or somewhere relatively close to San Francisco. Or at least in the same time zone.
Prior relationship to Dell’Arte or the North Coast?
Arcata was a favorite stop of the Pickle Family Circus when I was with them in the early ’80s.
I also brought my solo play, “June Bride: the story of a traditional Jewish lesbian wedding” to the Mad River Festival in, gosh what year was that? (8 years ago or so??). Then I brought my next show here too: “Shtik: a queer play on Jewish vaudeville” about 4 years ago. It’s wonderful here. I love Dell’Arte, the redwoods, the bagels.
Where did you learn to juggle? How much is that part of your show here?
I learned to juggle in college at U.C.L.A. in the late 70’s. Juggling is my best voice in theater work. I love using objects and circus in metaphorical ways. In this show there is mucho mucho mucho juggling. In fact, the whole show is a balancing act between trying to understand “my mother’s Israel” which was created to protect Jews from antisemitism and the tragic consequences of creating a country in a place inhabited by a native population. Yes, there’s three ball (actually three lemon) juggling, contact juggling, glow-in-the-dark juggling, devil sticks, scarves and knives. And for the first time, I also do a bit of shadow puppets to tell the story of my mother’s blindness – shadows to tell the story of shadows.

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