Oct 6, 2010
I Interview Playwrights Part 266: Karinne Keithley
Hometown: A pair: Bishop Monkton, No. Yorks, UK / Los Altos, CA
Current Town: Modjeska Canyon, CA
Q: What are you working on now?
A: Half the day, building displays for Montgomery Park, or Opulence, which is half museum, half audio-video-operetta. The other half, working on my dissertation prospectus.
Q: Tell me, if you will, a story from your childhood that explains who you are as a writer or as a person.
A: As a child I did a lot of things repetitively: draw oil pastels of Jupiter, watch the three films I owned on video (Wind in the Willows, My Fair Lady, Guys & Dolls), talk to the peacocks that came from Mr Jones' farm across the street to eat my mother's basil plants, and go to ballet. One of the highlights of my childhood was a hiking trip to the Lake District where we ate Kendall Mint Cakes and I was allowed to stay up past my bedtime to watch Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe.
Q: If you could change one thing about theater, what would it be?
A: Put the room it happens in always in question, and architecturally make thinking space for different syntaxes of storytelling.
Q: Who are or were your theatrical heroes?
A: Mac Wellman, Big Dance Theater, Pina Bausch, Sibyl Kempson, Amber Reed, Shakespeare, Chekhov, Deborah Hay.
Q: What kind of theater excites you?
A: The serene, bewildering, mind-as-proliferating-multitudinous-scaffold, singing, ceremonial kind.
Q: What advice do you have for playwrights just starting out?
A: Take anatomically and somatically oriented dance class -- seriously, I think that the best ear arises from kinesthetic intelligence.
Q: Plugs, please:
A: Montgomery Park, or Opulence, an essay in the form of a building, at Incubator Arts Project NYC Nov. 4-13, 2010.