As part of his ongoing series of interviews with artists from 95 Empire’s, Residence@95 program, 95 Empire director Ric Royer sits down with his old classmates at Brown, and current residents at 95 Empire, Lindsey Goss and Andrew Starner to talk about their upcoming show, “Scenes from Scenes from a Marriage”, opening Thursday January 31st!
Ric Royer: Well, well, we meet again, old college chums.
Andrew Starner: Oh get on with it. It was just last year.
RR: Right. Ok. When I was in the Performance Studies PhD program at Brown, I was actually blatantly reprimanded for continuing my artistic practice, which I assumed was an embittered attempt at keeping the students from making it further in their practice than their teachers did before they fell back on academic gigs, but I digress! Anyway, how are you getting away with being downtown this week? Did you ask to go to the lav and then sneak out with the hall pass?
AS: We didn’t tell anyone we were doing it and we’re sneaking it in before classes really start. Add that to the fact that Lindsay and I are team players and very attractive physically has meant that perhaps we’ve experienced more leeway than other members or former members of our department…
RR: This next question, and all subsequent questions, is for Lindsey: How have you found your relationship to live performance – dare I say “theatre” – change since you’ve been in a Performance Studies program?
AS: It’s a contagion that’s slowly spreading through your entire body. But asking that question is like asking how a couple’s relationship changes when they marry, or have a child. Their relationship is changing all the time! And what they each believe to be important, can suddenly become irrelevant.
Lindsay Goss: As an audience-member, I feel I’ve become more aware of how a performance is working on multiple levels. But my aesthetic sensibilities are the same as a director. It’s funny–arguing with Andrew over motivation has seemed very pedantic in a way. But it is still very important to what I do as an actor. So maybe Performance Studies has just barely nicked me?
RR: About the play, you’re playing the roles of Ingmar Bergman and Liv Ullmann, as they explore their own romantic involvement through working on their 1973 Swedish television series, Scenes from a Marriage…umm, how personal is this play? I mean, Liv and Igmar were a couple, you two are a couple, and Johan and Marianne of course… are you two working something out here? What’s going on? It’s okay to get juicy with this one, we still have tickets available.
AS: It sounds like you’ve done your homework–for a change. We’re hoping to find that same line between fiction and reality that Ingmar and Liv did–that allows us to make work while still loving each other. Or when we’ve stopped. If and when we stop. Johan and Marianne–and this is something that can be hard to see, because the tv show is so wrenching–don’t have to learn to love each other: that comes naturally. They have to learn how to show their animosity and aggression. We’ve got that down–but we usually keep it hidden. At least, not a lot of people have seen that side of us. Scenes from Scenes from a Marriage will change that.
RR: Good answer. Well, I’m certainly looking forward to seeing the show this weekend, being big fans of Bergman, Ullman, Starner and Goss, now time to give it your best pitch, tell everyone else what they might expect from Scenes from Scenes.
AS: You’ll laugh you’ll cry?
LG: Seriously, Andrew? You are embarrassing me. How’s this: The greatest film director of his generation and the greatest love of his life let down their guard and show us the messy side of making art. Or the art in making a mess. With live music and loud noises. Don’t miss it.