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RICHARD by lisa lipsey


S SEERETS HIS SIGHTS ON GOD OF CARNAGE


DIRECTOR OF THE OLD GLOBE/UNIVERSITY OF SAN DIEGO GRADU- ATE THEATRE PROGRAM, AWARD-WINNING STAGE DIRECTOR AND ACTOR RICHARD SEER LENDS HIS DIRECTING EYE TO THE OLD GLOBE’S NEWEST PLAY, GOD OF CARNAGE. Written by French playwright Yasmina Reza [English translation by Christopher


Hampton], this Tony Award-winning comedy has been well-received by audi- ences. Set in New York City, the show features a cast of four and a whole slew of emotional and physical acting. Seer and his cast definitely have their work cut out for them. How’s it going, directing God of Carnage? Truthfully, it is a handful to direct. It is a really, really outrageous, funny, absurdist


farce. There are so many rich layers to the story that are really interesting. This is my favorite kind of play. Can you give me a teaser “trailer” for the play? Two 11-year old boys get into a fight at school, their parents get together to dis-


cuss the incident and come to a resolution. They end up in a very French, absurdist way, fighting each other and behaving far worse than the boys did. They are more like children than the children; this idea of misbehavior—the play does a serious treatise on it. I imagine it is so absurd that it borders on shocking. That is sort of how I feel about our political processes right now. They are tasked with developing solutions and we just see a lot of bad behavior. In the context of a very silly play we see the layers, an aggression rather the


peacemaker side that we as Americans aspire to be in the world. There are some direct parallels to our current dysfunctions in society, in government, our con- gress. The show has this rather understated complexity; it is wild but it has a lovely underbelly to it. You are the Acting Artistic Director of the Old Globe right now. Did you bring this play to the Globe? Lou Spisto, the former Artistic Director, made the choice and it made sense. It


was a huge success on Broadway and in London, so it was a natural for the Old Globe to run with it. You have done both acting and directing, do you have a real preference between the two? Well, I rarely act any more—I did that for 20 years—I was successful enough and


enjoyed it. The little bit of acting I have done in last 10 years, I’ve found I enjoyed the rehearsal process, working with everyone, but after opening night I’d groan to myself, “Oh I have to do this again tomorrow?” I like the directing process so much more and as we work through scenes I do find myself acting.


18 RAGE monthly | AUGUST 2012


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