Monday, April 25, 2011

ON THE SPOT with Finegan Kruckemeyer

The Tragical Life of Cheeseboy opens this Friday at The Duke on 42nd Street. This show comes from Slingsby Theatre company, across the world in Australia. Finegan Kruckemeyer, the playwright, shared some stories with us about growing up Down Under!

Playwright Finegan Kruckemeyer
New Victory: Where did you grow up?
Finegan Kruckemeyer: The Irish countryside as a child, and then an Australian city called Adelaide from [ages] 8-22. Now I live on an island called Tasmania and am still growing up a bit.

NV: Favorite hometown tradition?
FK: In my home now (Hobart, Tasmania) my wife Essie and I end nearly every week by going to a free outdoor event on Friday evenings called Rectango. All our friends are there, bands play, people dance and the community is lovely.

NV: Favorite hometown food?
FK: Essie and I are really lucky to have lots of friends who make amazing food – so Nick makes the best cheese, Ross and Matthew create ham and proscuitto, and Megan and Adam have a beautiful café called Tricycle, with the best cakes!

NV: Favorite hometown haunt?
FK: Tricycle Café to write, meet friends and play chess in, and The Alley Cat bar at night.

NV: Favorite NYC haunt?
FK: Don’t know yet – I’ve never been to your city before! But I think visiting places that I’ve only seen in pictures will be amazing.

ad for the Tricycle Cafe
NV: When you travel, what do you miss most about home?
FK: My wife Essie, my family, saying hello to everyone you walk past on the street

NV: Favorite family activity?
FK: Christmas (it happens in Summer in Australia!) around a big outdoor table with way too much food and lots of laughter and everyone wearing funny hats.

NV: Most memorable theatrical experience as a spectator?
FK: Watching a show called The Postman when I was nine – he came on stage with lots of parcels and then opened them… and whole worlds came out! Last year, I was in Europe and met him, and he still does the same show twenty years later. Amazing.

NV: Most memorable theatrical experience as a director/performer?
FK: I’m not a director or performer – instead I write plays. My most memorable experience was watching a children’s play that I didn’t really understand. And then all around me, children burst out laughing at something funny in it. And suddenly it all made sense – I was just looking at it wrong.

NV: If you weren't in theater, what would you want to do with your life?
FK: Work in a bookshop probably. But everything else I would keep the same.

NV: Favorite saying or slang term?
FK: "I’d rather learn from one bird how to sing, than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance."
-e.e. cummings [Read the full poem to the left or here.]

NV: Something interesting/unique others may not know about you?
FK: I am writing this in a great South American city called Buenos Aires. I have no cartilage in my nose and can squidge it flat. I used to be scared of fans. I proposed to my wife on a rooftop. I am learning to play the piano, but it’s taking a really long time.

NV: Do you do anything else to earn a living?
FK: No – writing plays is it.

NV: What is your educational background? Training background?
FK: I was part of a youth theater from [ages] 8-21. It’s called Urban Myth and is where I learned acting, teaching and writing plays, and where I made some of my best friends. And although I never [formally] studied, I have learned from lots of very talented people by making shows with them.

NV: What is your cultural heritage? Has it influenced your work, and if so, how?
FK: My dad is German, my mum is English, I was born in Ireland and we all live in Australia. That’s taught me that the world is big and interesting, that language is for playing with, that words can travel very easily and that the right ones in the right order can be wonderful.

NV: Which 3 people have influenced you the most?
FK: I won’t count my favorite six (my family and my wife) because it’s impossible to choose three. So instead I’ll say three artists: Maurice Sendak for teaching me about imagination, John Steinbeck for teaching me about language, and Joni Mitchell for teaching me about conveying emotion.

NV: Why do you like performing at the New Vic?
FK: I won’t be performing, but I like having a play I wrote perform at The New Victory because it looks like a beautiful venue, because people say very nice things about it, because it’s in an exciting city, and because everyone I’ve spoken to there has been lovely.

Thanks, Finegan! Next we chat with Andy, a creator of the show, next week.

There is a Wait List for all Tragical Life of Cheeseboy shows.

Call the box office at 646-223-3010 to be place on a Wait List. You can choose a specific performance or receive a call anytime tickets are available.

VIP tickets are still available [at the time of this post] for Friends at the Manager level or above; please call Melissa Kalt at 646-223-3082 for full details.

Watch the trailer now!

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