Fresh Produce’d Presents: Behind the Pineapple featuring Andrew Davies

I bet what you’re thinking right now is along the lines of:

“I can’t believe FRESH PRODUCE’d NYC has a blog now. I’m so excited, I can’t breath.”

Well relax. ..

Breath.

And believe it!

Because we be bloggin’ y’all!

I’d like to warmly welcome you to the FRESH PRODUCE’d NYC blog. It is here that you will gain a special look into the magic that is FRESH PRODUCE’d. We want to throw back the curtain and give you a glimpse into the minds of our talented artists and include you on the journey that they embark on while working on FRESH PRODUCE’d NYC.

So what better way to get started than with our interview series Behind the Pineapple with one of our playwrights for the month of August?

Meet, Andrew Davies.

If you are a Fresh Produce’d regular than you may already know Andrew as our resident musical host. Every month, Andrew writes three songs that are inspired by our three new plays and guides the audience from show to show with his musical stylings.

This month Andrew will be featured as one of our new and upcoming playwrights and more so, he has written FRESH PRODUCE’d NYC’s first musical.

I sat down with Andrew to talk about The Goldenberg Scandal: The Amazing True Story of Kamlesh Pattni and got to know the man behind the musical!

FP: So Andrew tell us how it all began? How did you become a theatre artist?

AD: Well it all started in elementary school. In kindergarten, we did a show and I was the only boy who got a line, which was “boys can do the Can-Can too.” And then we did the Can-Can. I still remember my first line ever. Nailed it! And the in fifth grade we did Fiddler on the Roof. We didn’t have auditions but our teacher had us write down on cards whether we wanted a big part or a small part and singing or non-singing. And I looked at that card for a minute and I wrote down big part/singing. So I was cast as Tevye. I imagine it was because I was the only boy who wrote down big part/singing. It’s possible. But I really had fun doing that show. I was a sports kid growing up too but when I got to high school I found myself up to bat and not wanting the ball. And what’s the point of that? That’s a bad attitude to have if you’re playing sports. So in tenth grade my buddy Dan suggested I audition for a play and I was cast as the Priest in Arsenic and Old Lace and it was awesome. I loved it. I continued to do theatre for the rest of high school and in college but I never really thought about pursuing a life in the theatre. I found myself working a ‘real job’ after college and I missed it.

FP: How did you get back into it?

AD: Well I ended up doing a two man comedy show with my friend Aaron who is currently starring in my touring kids show The Bible Players with me. It was called Bicklesby and Habersforth’s Evening of Frivolity, Merriment and Mirth, which all started while camping in Maine. We developed the characters and ended up writing a show in which we performed every month. It was great! It was the first time I felt like this was really something worth investing my time in. I think it’s important to bring comedy into people’s lives.

FP: Having read your blog and your play would you say you gravitate towards the melding of the comedy world and the political world?

AD: Well, The Goldenberg Scandal: The Amazing True Story of Kamlesh Pattni came to me after listening to a podcast. After I heard the story, I immediately saw it on stage. I saw singing, I saw dancing, I saw the whole story. It was the perfect inspiration. And then I sort of let it kick around a bit but I struggled with the motivation to write it. But knowing that FRESH PRODUCE’d existed helped with the motivation to really put this idea into action. But in general, I am often inspired by stories in life and often in politics that involve core values hitting up against strange situations.

FP: What’s your process like?

AD: Well I do a lot of thinking in my head. And I will think on ideas for a long time. Like I said, I really need deadlines to really get things going. But I find that I gravitate towards structure and character development first and then I go back and find moments. I don’t start writing without knowing where I am going. It’s a lot like needing deadlines and structure. I need to know where I am going when I sit down and write because otherwise I tend to feel too lost in the world of possibilities. Sometimes I tell myself ‘today I need to go to the coffee shop and write two scenes.’

FP: Do you usually write outside of your apartment?

AD: I constantly try to write at home but I just get too distracted by everything else in my life. It’s weird to say I need the quiet of the coffee shop but the mental quiet of the coffee shop is helpful to me. Which gets tricky when I am working on music. I can’t really practice my music in a coffee shop and I don’t have space for a music room in my apartment…

FP: That’s weird…there is so much space in NYC apartments…

AD: I have ten extra bedrooms but I don’t have a music room.

FP: Yet…Okay Andrew, last question! Why do you think theatre is important?

AD: Hmm…well live performance has given me some of the most fulfilling experiences in my life. The moments only exist for the select few that are experiencing it, it’s fleeting, it will never happen the same way again. There is beauty in that. There is a beginning and an end and an element of a lack of control and it’s beautiful. I love the limitations, not being able to edit footage or tinker around afterwards because I think those limitations lead to artists making beautiful and strong choices.

FP: Well Mr. Davies, we are excited to see your show workshopped on August 15th. It will undoubtedly be a success!

For more Andrew Davies goodness check out his touring kids show The Bible Players

Also, stay tuned for interviews with our other playwrights for August, John Grenier-Ferris and Sarah Shaefer!

And don’t forget to join us at The Drama Bookshop on August 15, 2013 at 8pm to see 3 new works!

GET FRESH!

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