Warp discussion, Part I

This tape features footage of the preparation for the opening of the Organic Theater's "Warp" on Broadway at the Ambassador Theater. Writer Stuart Gordon, actor Cecil O'Neal, and writer Lenny Kleinfeld (who co-wrote the play under the pseudonym Bury St. Edmund) talk about the production and the process of transitioning it from Chicago to New York.

00:00Copy video clip URL This tape begins with static.

00:14Copy video clip URL Open on a shot of the exterior of the Ambassador Theater. A long line of theatergoers wait outside. Cecil O’Neal speaks with two of the actors about the marquee outside of the theater.

04:15Copy video clip URL Cut to a shot of a newspaper article about Warp. In a small room, O’Neal, Gordon, and Kleinfeld begin to share stories about the Chicago theater scene. O’Neal begins to talk about the odd feeling he gets when hearing people talk about his work in front of him. Gordon and Kleinfeld also share a few of their stories. This lasts for several minutes.

10:41Copy video clip URL The three men talk about the mob-like conditions at certain shows. They then begin to talk about a costume from Warp that reveals an actor’s bare buttocks. They also talk about the different audiences they encounter and the differences between the Chicago and New York audience reception. This lasts for several minutes.

15:41Copy video clip URL O’Neal talks about the elaborate stage setup for Warp, which requires that the floor be covered by padding due to the actors being suspended in the air. The three continue to talk about the set for Warp and how it has affected the show. This lasts for several minutes.

19:04Copy video clip URL Gordon begins to talk about some of the more flashy effects in the New York production. The three then begin to talk about the pros and cons of working in Chicago and New York. They also talk about some of their other experiences working with New York design companies and unions. Kleinfeld states, “There is a New York trait that I’ve found in the theater, that is whenever you ask somebody a question, even if it’s a simple yes or no question, they go into a hysterical fit and refuse to answer it so that you won’t ask them any more questions and they can go their merry way and do whatever they want.” O’Neal and Gordon philosophize about the subject more. The three go on to talk about their overall experience putting on a production in New York, the attitude on Broadway, and the types of people they interact with. This lasts for several minutes.

29:17Copy video clip URL Interviewer Anda Korsts asks about the positives of the New York production. O’Neal talks about the fact that the critics will not refer to the play as amateurish. “No matter what happens to the show, the adjective that would never be used would be ‘amateurish.'” He then talks about the “amateurish” aspects of their production of Candide in New York. They agree that Candide received rougher treatment than it deserved, but that it helped the Organic Theater grow. This lasts for the remainder of the tape.

33:12Copy video clip URL Tape ends.



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