Tuesday, September 9, 2014

6 QUESTIONS: Catherine Filloux

Catherine Filloux is the author of SELMA '65, opening at La MaMa this month.  Catherine took time out of rehearsals to answer 6 Questions:

1. What inspired you to write about the Selma march of 1965?

Marietta Hedges, the actress in SELMA '65, brought me the story. After I did extensive research, and after much contemplation, I became very excited about the idea of writing a one-woman show in which Marietta would play both the activist Viola Liuzzo and the FBI informant Tommy Rowe. Many people watched Bloody Sunday in 1965 on their televisions as Viola Liuzzo did, and were passionate about going to the Selma Voting March. The movie that was interrupted on their televsision sets on Bloody Sunday was JUSTICE AT NUREMBERG. A student of Marietta's, Carrie Klewin, whom I know through Theatre Without Borders, said to both of us: you two have to meet! Marietta and I are both activists. The past meets the present. We start rehearsals today. See you at SELMA '65.

2. Why is this topic relevant to audiences today?

The Supreme Court made a decision last year which gravely damaged the Voting Rights Act. It reminds me of Raphael Lemkin's Genocide Convention. Lemkin like Viola is dear to my heart. Such joy and hope are originally at the core of both of them. What does hope mean? How do we capture it? Well, you can re-capture it on stage, in the theater.

3. When did you know you wanted to be a playwright?

In high school my first role onstage was the Fortuneteller in Thornton Wilder's SKIN OF OUR TEETH. I was hooked. It's a heart, mind and body experience. I'm typing my answers to you right now on a keyboard--I wasn't an actress. I also took a typing class in high school. It was a "pre-class," a class before the usual classes started, so it was at around 7am. I graduated a year early from high school so I could get my French Baccalaureate in France. Yes, that was actually my idea. So I packed in the classes. I loved that typing class. The teacher was so good. She even taught us how to type to music. It was lovely, typing to music at dawn.

4. What is the last good book your read?

BENDING TOWARDS JUSTICE by Gary May. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg cited the book in her dissent.

5. Who or what inspires you?

La MaMa.

6. What does working at La MaMa mean to you?

That's a great segue. Home, family. Melissa and Kiku were ordering an ice cream cake for someone in the office yesterday. Today is her birthday. :-) I liked listening to their decision-making regarding the many flavors of ice cream they were choosing. One of their last concerned questions before they placed the order was: "Is that enough?"

La MaMa presents
A New Play by Catherine Filloux
Starring Marietta Hedges 
Director by Eleanor Holdridge 

September 26, 2014 - October 12, 2014 

Thursday & Friday at 7:30pm
Saturday at 2 & 7:30pm
Sunday at 2pm 

First Floor Theatre @ La MaMa
74A East 4th Street
(between Bowery and Second Avenue)
New York, NY 10003

For Tickets and Info: CLICK HERE