I recently saw the fantastic meta-theatrical event known as Blind Pug Arts Collective Presents: The Theatre of Self-Loathing Presents: Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf? at the Capital Fringe Festival. I wanted to learn more about the Eastern European stars who share a refreshingly intense vision for contemporary theatre.
Michael Poandl: Introduce yourself to our readers, and tell us where we may have seen your work in the past year.
Eddie: I am Eddie. No more is necessary. If you have not found our work, then you are not meant to.
Cassilda: I am Cassilda. We are the Theatre of Self-Loathing. We already told you.
I understand you hail from Eastern Europe. What has it been like to make theatre in America?
Cassilda: We were pleasantly surprised to find your audiences already liberally self-anesthetized, thanks to the dizzying opiate that is American “culture.” Your penchant for gluttonous consumption seems wholly fitting given the imminent role you are bound to play in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf?.
Tell us about the Theatre of Self-Loathing.
Eddie: When you are asleep and you wake up with the sense of falling, you tell yourself that it was only a dream. This is a lie. A lie to comfort you in the unending loneliness of existence. The Theatre of Self-Loathing aims to destroy that lie.
Cassilda: To simply ‘tell’ of such greatness would be a reductive act of genocidal proportions. Instead, all who read this will now exchange your filthy currency for an imaginary ticket to the show, and thusly become ordained by the Ancient Ones to meet your destiny. Only then will you see, feel, TASTE, and truly know the Self-Loathing in all its horror.
What interests you about Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf?
Eddie: I have always loved nature.
Cassilda: The tinny smell of mortal fear is our morning coffee. It’s the best part of waking up, as the Wise One says.
I understand your company is known for being particularly dedicated to the veracity of theatrical experiences – how do you inspire your actors to dig more deeply into their characters?
Cassilda: We begin with some light goading, progress through to the heavy coercion tactics, sprinkle in a good dose of ego evisceration, and close with identity theft. At which point, there is no option for the actor but to inhabit whatever character is handed down. This is a patented method; you may not use it.
Your company has produced some theatre for young audiences. What are the unique contributions that children’s theatre can make to the theatre world overall?
Eddie: Children have tiny hands which are particularly well suited to costume construction.
Cassilda: Children’s theatre holds no intrinsic value short of its practical application in indoctrinating the newborn members of the ToSL youth movement. Well, it wasn’t going to indoctrinate itself, now was it? Do not answer that.
What’s with the predilection for black suspenders?
Eddie: Belts are for the oppressive class.
Cassilda: Yes, in our home country belts are used to beat the insolence out of dissenters. To re-purpose such a powerful weapon of influence as a device for holding one’s pants up is a true crime against all that is profanely sacred.
Your Fringe show is a collaboration with Blind Pug Arts Collective – why do your two theatre companies work so well together?
Eddie: We demand total submission. Blind Pug Arts Collective obeys.
Cassilda: In all instances, we prefer Pugs to people.
What do you want audiences to take away from your show?
Eddie: Nothing. Nothing at all.
Cassilda: I do not understand this question. Do you mean to ask “what will your show take away from audiences?” The answer is everything. Everything at all.
Blind Pug Arts Collective Presents: The Theatre of Self-Loathing Presents: Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf? plays through July 26, 2015 as part of the Capital Fringe Festival, performing at Galludet University: Eastman Studio Theatre – Florida Avenue and 8th Street NE, in Washington, D.C. Tickets may be purchased at the door or online.
2015 Capital Fringe Review: ‘Blind Pug Arts Collective Presents: The Theatre of Self-Loathing Presents: Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf?’ by Sophia Howes.