An Interview with David Hansen
Indie Theater Now asked David Hansen a few questions about this upcoming event.
Is this play political? Why or why not?
While the focus of this play is on the blossoming romance between Beatrice and Benedick, personal crises and world events bear down on their relationship, and those aspects do take on strong political overtones.
Theater is a necessary ingredient in democratic societies. Do you agree or disagree, and why?
Absolutely. Live, spoken performance is the most immediate and cheapest form of expression. While it may not have the vast reach of electronic communication, the excitement generated by theater performers, producing a new work that communicates a fresh idea, is like a virus. These feelings of empowerment can and often do radiate into the larger community. It starts here. It can go anywhere.
Which political figure would like your show the best: Chris Christie, Hilary Clinton, Rand Paul, or Al Sharpton?
All of them -- ZING! Seriously, however, each of them would enjoy the work, and each for entirely different reasons. As their relationship grows, the lovers enter into ... let's say, a moral quandary. You know, boys and girls stuff. These things happen. How they choose to deal with this situation may satisfy the moral strictures of Governor Christie or the Rev. Sharpton, but the fact that they even have a choice (if you follow me) would be supported by Secretary Clinton. Rand Paul might like the weapons.
Who do you think has the right idea about theater: Brecht, Artaud, Shakespeare, or Aristotle?
How could I write a prequel to Shakespeare's greatest comedy and not vote for the guy? His universal appeal lies not in his ability to appeal to a general audience (which he does) but his genius at presenting complex concepts of what it means to be human in a positive manner that is comprehensible to everyone. Shakespeare is the epitome of live, lyric, theatrical performance, he's got it all.
Is it more important to you to write about people who have the same political/social views as you, or people who have entirely different ones?
It has to be both. The Greeks employed theater to debate high ideas, and so should we. A writer has the responsibility to get into the head of people they vehemently disagree with and at least see things from their point of view, even if they do not accept them. There will always be disagreement, how we cope with our differences is what makes us better people in the end.
posted February 21, 2014