Hope and Delusion inside AFO's next SoCo: WHIP IT UP! WITH WENDY by Tasha Gordon-Solmon
On Whip It Up! With Wendy! celebrity-chef and lifestyle-guru Wendy G. inspires audiences to take on the world one dish at a time. No matter what obstacles lie ahead, Wendy will make your worries melt away, like melted butter dripping off a perfectly crisp piece of bacon! (Remember bacon?). When the show starts to experience some hiccups, there’s more melting down than melting away, but EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE TOTALLY FINE.
A SoCo workshop on:
Friday April 12, 2019
Pearl Studios, Room 401
(Capacity is limited, RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org)
An interview with playwright Tasha Gordon-Solmon and Lana Russell:
What first excited you about writing this story? What are you looking to discover next?
I’m interested in exploring the idea of hope. Having hope is essential. The optimism bias has probably kept humanity alive. On the other hand, too much optimism can be really dangerous. I’m interested in the fine lines between pessimism and realism, hope and delusion (OR: willful ignorance?). That’s a balance I’m trying to figure out in this play – and in my own life if we're gonna get deep about it.
Why is this an important story for audiences to hear?
The show explores what we do when the odds are stacked against us, when there’s no way things will turn out exactly the way we want – but we keep trying anyway. That feels pretty timely. It also takes the audience on a very fun ride and I think joy is a valuable commodity these days.
What is the most challenging thing about this piece? What is the most rewarding?
The play has some moments of (gentle) audience participation. It’s both challenging and rewarding to figure out how that functions as part of the play as a whole. It’s exciting to see how a performer navigates that, since she inevitably has to bring a lot of herself to it. Alex Trow is an insanely talented actor and it’s thrilling to work with her and see how she approaches different drafts and brings everything to life.
Why is solo theater, and the art of the solo play narrative valuable?
I love how the form allows for deep character exploration. There is also something inherently poetic about a person alone onstage, trying to connect to us. That’s kind of the human condition, right?