Founding member of Talking Band, Ellen Maddow, is the author of many of the company's shows, including their newest: BURNISHED BY GRIEF: A ROMANTIC COMEDY, opening at The First Floor Theatre at La MaMa on January 22, 2016. Ellen took time out from rehearsals to answer our 6 Questions.
1. What inspired you to write BURNISHED BY GRIEF: A ROMANTIC COMEDY?
Burnished By Grief was inspired by my work as a volunteer mediator in Brooklyn Civil Court, where I am privileged to witness how the city’s extraordinary diversity, combined with close-living, produces complex misunderstandings as well as unexpected and remarkable relationships.
2. How is this show different from other Talking Band shows?
Its a romantic comedy. Its got a live tuba in it. (played by Sam Kulik) and a full compliment of fabulous downtown performers - Mary Shultz, Rae C. Wright, Tina Shepard, WIll Badgett, Debargo Sanyal as well as some newcomers - Shelley Fort, Flordelino Lagundino.
3. In what ways have you seen NYC change since you've been here?
My neighborhood (Soho) has gone from being full of trucks unloading during the day, and deserted and scary at night ( 1973) to being so packed with tourists that I can hardly manage to walk my dog. But since I know so many of my neighbors, I still feel like I live in a small town.
4. If you could get on a plane and travel anywhere tomorrow, where would you go?
I am getting on a plane on Sunday and going to a conference in Banff for writers, scientists and mathematicians. What could be more stimulating than that?
5. What was the last good book you've read?
I have been re-reading all of Penelope Fitzgerald’s novels. Everyone should read them.
6. What does working at La MaMa mean to you?
I feel honored to be part of its venerable history. I have been thinking about that a lot in the last few days after the death of Liz Swados who was a mentor and collaborator. She wrote the music for Talking Band’s first show The Kalevala in 1975, and for its 40th anniversary show last year - The Golden Toad. I feel lucky to be part of a multi-generational community of artists.
La MaMa presents
BURNISHED BY GRIEF:
A ROMANTIC COMEDY
Written and Composed by Ellen Maddow
Directed by Paul Zimet
A love letter to the chaos of cramped New York City living. This music-fused, sinister romantic comedy is inspired by Obie award-winning playwright Ellen Maddow’s work as a mediator in Brooklyn Civil Court, where she has witnessed how the city’s extraordinary diversity, combined with close living, has produced complex misunderstandings and remarkable relationships.
January 22 - February 7, 2016
Tickets: $25 Adults; $20 Students/Seniors - 2 and 4-Show packages available for January shows at La MaMa
The First Floor Theatre at La MaMa
74A East 4th Street
(between Bowery and Second Avenue)
New York, NY 10003
For Tickets and Info: CLICK HERE