In Part 2 of a series of interviews with the Director and cast of Spooky Action Theater’s Jarry Inside Out, meet Director Catherine Tripp.
Please introduce yourself and tell our readers where they may have seen your work on local stages? How would you describe your directing style?
My name is Catherine Tripp. I am a director based here in DC. As a director I have worked with Young Playwright’s Theatre, The Hub, and I am a proud company member at Rorschach Theatre. In terms of my directing style, I embrace the collaborative nature of the art form and hope that all the artists in the room have a voice in creating the work.
Why did you want to direct Jarry Inside Out? When did you first get involved with this show and how did the show make it to Spooky Action Theater?
Richard approached me last summer with the script for Jarry Inside Out. And what an honor to be asked to direct his baby. He has had this play in his head for a while and we had a great time bringing it to the stage.
Who was Alfred Jarry and how does this production reflect his life and work and personality?
Oh, that is a question better asked to google. But the basics are that Jarry was a French playwright, who was a forerunner of absurdist theatre. His most well-known work is Ubu Roi. The main character of Ubu became a sort of alterego for Jarry. I like to think that he would love the inventive nature of the show and its celebration of the absurd.
What makes this production a unique experience for the audience?
It is a wild and wonderful spectacle that leans into the absurd.
What have been some of the challenges of directing the show? Which scene or scenes were the most difficult to stage and direct?
The language of the play can be very challenging. Jarry was very playful when it came to language and the play reflects that. We have a wonderful ensemble that supports and brings the audience along on the journey. We wanted to create a show that was entertaining but still allowed the sometimes difficult language of Jarry to shine through.
What was your vision for this production and has it changed now that it’s been through rehearsals?
Whenever you bring a group of talented artist together, what you create is never quite what you envisioned. That is the joy of the theatre. I knew from the beginning that this is an exploration of the mind of Jarry. Once the team was assembled, we all worked at creating the world that mind comes from.
Now that opening night has come and gone, how did it go?
It was a wonderful evening. And I am so proud of the show and pleased to have had the opportunity to work with these wonderful artists.
Any surprises watching the audience’s reactions and responses?
Absurd theatre about a dead french playwrights can be a bit of a gamble but people seemed to really enjoy it.
Introduce us to your cast and what are you most impressed about their performances?
We have 8 amazing talents in this cast. Ryan Sellers, Carla Briscoe, Ian LeValley, Eva Wilhelm, Mike Cafarelli, Karen Rosnizeck, Claire Aniela, and Connor Hogan brought the words to life. They all came to the table with great ideas and amazing skills. I am still amazed by the ways that they created not only written characters but ensemble characters born of their own imaginations. To be able to work with such a fun and funny group was a special experience.
Jarry Inside Out plays through June 21, 2015 at Spooky Action Theater, performing at Universalist National Memorial Church – 1810 16th Street NW, in Washington, DC. Tickets can be purchased at the door or online.
Robert Michael Oliver reviews ‘Jarry Inside Out’ on DCMetroTheaterArts.
Meet the Director and Cast of Spooky Action Theater’s ‘Jarry Inside Out’: Part 1: Ian LeValley.