Dec 5, 2012
I Interview Playwrights Part 535: David Gaitán
Hometown: Mexico City
Current Town: Mexico City
Q: What are you working on now?
A: I'm writing a play for a specific group of actors; the peculiar thing (for me, at least) is that their average age is 75. I've always worked with people around my age... I’m writing a play based on the idea of randomness; I’ve seen this done on stage many times, but not often as an experiment that departs from the script itself.
Q: Tell me, if you will, a story from your childhood that explains who you are as a writer or as a person.
A: I was born with a deformity in my legs. I had two surgeries in order to correct this; later on, I used special shoes until I turned 6. During that time, my parents would make sure that my special shoes (up to the knees) were not seen (by me or the rest of the kids), so that nobody could identify me as handicapped. Along with this, I was encouraged to do everything... walk, run, jump, play soccer, dance... Eat the whole cake. Now, I work as an actor, playwright, and director. Many times, simultaneously.
Q: If you could change one thing about theater, what would it be?
A: I would make it for free. Always. And somehow manage to pay everybody in the play.
Q: Who are or were your theatrical heroes?
A: They've been changing lately.
I began with the obvious, classic ones: Shakespeare, etc.
Then it changed to my direct teachers.
Now, I don't know.
I would think that my heroes are my closest friends, those who are trying to understand theater in a different way.
Q: What kind of theater excites you?
A: That which that suggests a different way of doing things. Given that theater is a system in itself, I admire those who manipulate the system in order to create something new, to make the spectator's experience evolve.
Q: What advice do you have for playwrights just starting out?
A: Learn the technique.
Then, go against it.
But first, learn it.
Q: Plugs, please:
A: In New York, at The Lark, Saturday, December 8, a reading of Leakages and Anticoagulants, translated by Julián Mesri and directed by Mallory Catlett.
In Mexico City I will be acting in Disertaciones Sobre Un Charco, written by Edgar Chías, directed by David Jiménez. I will also be acting in El Camino del Insecto, which I wrote, also directed by David Jiménez. Both these plays are produced and performed by our company, Ocho Metros Cúbicos.