Sep 12, 2012

The Joy of Sam

Joy Zinoman; photo by Todd Franson

My friend and colleague Isaac Butler has said repeatedly of Joy Zinoman, the founding artistic of D.C.'s Studio Theatre, that she saved his life (something of an explanation is given here). That's why, when Joy resigned from her post a few years back, I had Isaac write a farewell piece for American Theatre. In the years since, I've also become friends with Joy's son Jason, a NY Times critic and fellow new dad.

Now that Joy is making her New York debut after four decades in the theater business, I finally had the privilege of sitting down with her recently to chat about the production, a Beckett anthology-with-music called Sounding Beckett. My favorite quote, regarding the strictures placed on interpreters by both the playwright and his estate:
A certain degree of constraint can be inspiring, of course. "It gives you limits, and within those limits, I think you can be more creative,” says [Zinoman]. “If someone gives you a 
big, open field and says, ‘Do a play in this cornfield,’ you’re fucked. So I welcome it, and I engage in it in an antagonistic way as well.”
You can read the whole thing in Time Out here.

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