OBIE award winner Nic Ularu (UniArt Theatre Co.) returns to La MaMa with his new work, Fusions which explores the effect of technology on society. Nic took too time out from preparing for the show to answer our 6 Questions. Don't miss Fusions, coming to The Club at La MaMa from November 25 - December 4, 2016, only!
1. What was the original inspiration behind creating FUSIONS?
In my last plays, I tried to analyze the artist's condition and to respond to some questions such as: what makes us try to express ourselves artistically in such money oriented society, based on consumption and globalization? During the process, I realized that first of all I should observe the public to whom we are addressing our theater art nowadays, and it was obvious that the technology and social media drastically the contemporary society.
2. What should audiences expect from the show?
The show is like a magnifying mirror that reveals how the human existence can be turned into grotesque by the influence of the TV reality shows, social media, video games, internet sex and the dependence on the computer.
3. The show investigates "the impact of the technology on the nowadays' society" what is the biggest way technology has impacted you personally?
A few years ago, when my laptop crashed, and I lost a lot of documents and files, I discovered my dependence on my computer. I realized that my life was dangerously linked to this strange object. It was like all my thoughts, all my memories, everything I did in the last few years were encapsulated in this device, and it seemed that this data was immensely important for me. Out of the blue, I felt some ridiculous desperation and emptiness. It was the moment in which I decided to stay as far as I can from this tool and to don't transform it into a meaning of life. I decided to observe the people around me, to communicate more, to see with my own eyes the things I like in the nature or visiting other countries, not through the video camera, iPhone or any other recording devices. I still spend a lot of time in the front of the computer, but I always feel guilty about it.
4. Who inspires you?
The people around me… For this particular show, some young guys who spend more time looking on the small screen of their cellphones texting, playing, emailing, etc. than interacting directly with each other. People who are more interested in the celebrities' lives and style of living then in their existences. The addiction to Facebook, Tweeter, Pokémon Go and all the social media, that consume too much time from our short and precious lives alienate us.
5. What was the last work of art (performance/film/books) that made an impact on you?
There are many works of art that are impacted me over the years. I think the most difficult thing for any artist is to tell a story in the simplest way. I saw recently Louis Malle's Vanya on 42ndStreet, and, as always, I was amazed by the power of acting and transmitting a message without the scenic effects, costumes and theater artifice.
6. What does working at La MaMa mean to you?
Since I came in this country, my artistic life revolved around La MaMa. I had the privilege to know Ellen Stewart, who offered me the opportunity to make my debut as a playwright and theater director in New York. I designed sets for ten shows at La MaMa, and I directed three of my plays (FUSIONS is the 4th collaboration between my company UniArt Theatre Co. and La MaMa ETC). In 2003, I was awarded an OBIE for the production of TalkingBand's Painted Snake in a Painted Chair, that was produced at La MaMa. Recently, I dedicated a significant chapter of my Ph.D. thesis on Off-Off Broadway theater, to the personality of Ellen Stewart and the importance of La MaMa in the contemporary American and international theater.
La MaMa presents
a new play written and directed by Nic Ularu (UniArt Theatre Co.)
Featuring: Paul Kaufmann, Drew Richardson, Carin Bendas, Chad Henderson
Set Design: Nic Ularu
Costume Design: Max Archimedes Levitt
Lighting Design: Jim Hunter
Video and Sound Design: Baxter Engle
November 25 - December 4, 2016
Friday & Saturday at 10pm; Sunday at 6pm
The Club @ La MaMa
74A East 4th Street
(between Bowery and Second Avenue
New York, NY 10003
Tickets: $20 Adults; $15 Students/Seniors; ten tickets priced at $10 each are available for every performance (advance sales only) as part of La MaMa's 10 @ $10 ticketing initiative.
For Tickets and Info: CLICK HERE