Over the course of 4 years Mitch Moxley worked on a new play called Last Room based on the life outline of acclaimed writer and chef, Anthony Bourdain. Last spring, at Caveat event space, directed by myself, Jonathan Dauerman, Yohanna Florentino and Anna Frankl Duval put up a stunning staged reading. This spring, Mitch brought myself and Jonathan back for a full 4 weekend run, 8 shows during May at a storied loft space in Soho. We are thrilled to also have producer Trey Tetreault on our Last Room team this time around.
I was interested in directing this piece for a few reasons- Jonathan is an incredibly gifted actor and has the resonant baritone voice of Bourdain- great casting. Also, I've been given free reign on the production design, meaning if I'd like to hang fabric, shred on an electric guitar, have a paper snow drop, or a waltz dance sequence- I'm allowed, in fact, encouraged to use all my black box theater skills that I honed at my Columbia MFA directing program.
At that school- Anne Bogart may hand you a classic canon play and say something like- "use only one character's lines and create a 10 minutes dream sequence for them. Here's a closet full of cubes and a red balloon, good luck." It is well known as a "scrappy" program, and honestly I do feel like I could make theater in a garage if that's what I had. All you need to make great theater is a space and a story.
It is the exact opposite challenge from an opera- which requires such musical precision and exactitude in timing. Mitch's ethereal script has so much opportunity for travel and transformation, travels the world in a snap, and then returns to a spectral bare hotel room again and again. It's both a place, all places, and no place. It has both the sound of drunk urban nights, the sound of exhaling a cigarette, and silence.
It's a gift to be able to stretch my theater muscles - join us on a weekend in May to see the magic in our Last Room. Ticket link coming soon.