La MaMa Blogs: 6 Questions: Director Glory Kadigan

Monday, May 13, 2019

6 Questions: Director Glory Kadigan

Photo by Michael Schwartz

Glory Kadigan, who was last at La MaMa in 2016, directing Eric Ehn's CLOVER has returned to direct Alex Raid's THE FLOOR IS LAVA, now playing in The Downstairs at La MaMa through May 19, 2019. We caught up with Glory to talk about the play, social media and working at La MaMa. 

1) What can audiences learn from The Floor is Lava?

In the play,  the lead character, Sean, has done an excellent job of making it seem like he has "the perfect" life.  As the play moves forward, the chips in that facade become more visible. I've always been interested in the journey of this character from who he presents himself to be, to who he really is.
In real life there are many people "presenting" themselves as happy - people whose lives seem way better than our own like Robin Williams, Anthony Bordain, Kate Spade, Heath Ledger to name a few. How we perceive others and whether or not we can find it in ourselves to look deeper than the surface is part of what The Floor Is Lava is about to me. The play reminds the audience that everything can shift at any moment. The past is not permanent. The past is not the future.

2) What does it mean to be a millennial? 

I'm not sure how to define something as broad as that but I will say that when people are in their 20's they sometimes suffer from thinking they are unique or special in some way. Like the Snowflake Test - this was a test designed to determine during the hiring process if an individual was too fragile to work at a company, based off of their own belief in themselves as "special". The belief that you are "special" is eventually challenged and it becomes clear that really none of us are all that special. At that point some people have breakdowns and can no longer function. So perhaps during the parenting  process, we shouldn't tell our children that they're all special and that they can achieve everything. Not everyone is special and not everyone can achieve everything. Except for me, I mean, look at me - clearly I rock!  (Spoken like a true millennial.)

3) Do you think social media is good?

Yes and no. When you think about famous people who have had meltdowns which are permanently documented for the rest of their lives on social media - I'd say "no it isn't so good".  Having the worst side of yourself permanently "etched in digital stone", doesn't leave anyone the ability to grow or change. 
On the positive side, I've reconnected with people via social media that I haven't heard from in years.  And social media is good for sharing photos with your friends when important life events happen like weddings, graduations and then of course there's marketing your show. We do a lot of marketing for this production on social media. 
But then again, people are also marketing an image of themselves and frequently that image isn't real. So like most  human inventions there are plusses and minuses. 

4) How does this play confront the passage of time?

The play moves in real time.  However, a large portion of the play happened in the past and is discussed during the play. In the rehearsal room, we spent a copious amount of time talking about what high school was like for these characters versus who they are in present day.  I even asked John DiMino, the actor playing Sean, to write his Valedictorian speech and deliver it to the other actors. It was a pretty funny speech which included a quote from Buzz Lightyear.  We also did several improvisations in the rehearsal room with the actors playing Kat and Sean.  I knew early on that my interpretation would include a strong connection between these two characters with high stakes; higher than either character realizes.

5) What does real connection look like for the millennial generation?

To be truly connected, we would need to genuinely see the value of every person around us. We would need to appreciate what each individual brings to the table, regardless of race, gender, sexuality or financial status. We're not really there yet as a generation. But it's good to have hope and to continue to work towards a connection. So.....I'm hopeful.

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

Every day I'm grateful for the La Mama community and for their support.  Thank you Mia, Frank, David, Nicky, John, Amy, Ryan, Kiku, Ozzie, Cathy, Luis, Mary, Denise, Mark, Bev, Billy, Mattie, the other Mary, Chris, Juan, Matt, Andrea and everyone else who helps make this place special for so many artists around the world. For me La Mama is about the people who create and present there. It is and always has been a place where artists from around the world can come to explore creatively without worrying about "commercial success".  Ironically, many commercial successes have come out of La Mama. But, the pressure to be commercially succeed is not placed on the artist directly which allows us to enjoy the process and focus on the work. La Mama has always valued different cultures, genders and diverse voices and I'm honored to be one of those voices.  Thank you.

La MaMa presents


written by Alex Riad
directed by Glory Kadigan

May 09 - May 19, 2019 

Thursday - Saturday at 8pm; Sunday at 5pm

The Downstairs @ La MaMa
66 East 4th Street
(between Bowery and Second Avenue)
New York, NY 10003

Tickets: $25 Adults; $20 Students/Seniors

For Tickets and Info: CLICK HERE

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