Andrea, while clearly Antartikos is not your personal story, it’s also evident that it comes from a very personal place within you. That’s unusual nowadays, when so often real feelings are cloaked within layers of irony. Will you feel exposed or vulnerable when people hear the play performed?
Hearing the play for me is always hard. The play is about saying goodbye to those you love and about accepting the ultimate closure that happens when someone dies. It is hard for me to hear because it makes me feel those things, but also because it is exposing the way I think about the world — a kernel of sadness I have — to people who don’t know me. It feels like suddenly everyone knows more about me than I know about them and what they know are the feelings that I never really talk about.
On the other hand, what I ask of my audience is to go to a deep emotional place with me, and if I weren’t willing to go there, neither would they be. So in the end it is an even exchange. I write plays to create that shared experience with an audience, so even though it feels raw to hear it, I am proud of the experience it creates. In my view, anything you care about and share with a room full of others will always feel raw. But isn't that why we are alive?
Antartikos is directed by Gemma Whelan and performs this Saturday, July 16 at 4pm at the Gerding Theater. No reservations required and always free of charge.