Tallahassee Hispanic Theater invites you to the auditions of its new production The Interview, by Chilean writer Marco Antonio de la Parra. The play tells the story of a writer’s fragile ego through a series of interviews. A sharp and sophisticated comedy of manners, the play tells the story of a broken spirit who has known the only thing worse than failure: SUCCESS! The Interview, written by one of Latin America’s leading voices, will received its American premiere at the Monticello Opera House in a new English translation.
Jose David (JD): the playwright. 40s
Sofia: the reporter. Late 20s – early 30s
Miguel Angel: actor. Late 40s – early 50s
Magdalena: young actress. Early 20s
Alfonso: the director. 40s
Raul: journalist. 30s – 40s
Maria Luisa: journalist. Late 40s – early 50s
Cecilia: Journalist. Early 20s
Directed by Kevin Carr.
November 9-10, 16-17, 2018.
Monticello Opera House
Sides for the auditions:
Cecilia, the restless successful TV journalist. Alfonso, the alternative director, impenetrable, elusive, with an ambiguous sexual identity. They barely look at each other.
CECILIA: Alfonso, wait, I never know how this machines work. They’re a pain, a real nuisance. Let me try it, recording, let’s see, yes, it’s working. Once I didn’t record anything. Can you believe it? Two hours, I can’t tell you with who, and this person told me everything, everything and the machine wasn’t working. This is the pause button. I bought one of the small ones, because they’re less noticeable. Got it at the Duty Free in Sao Paulo. But you still have to show them. Sometimes it gets lost in my bag. Let me turn my cell off. I hate interruptions. I interviewed you for TV, right?
ALFONSO: I never do television.
CECILIA: Of course, I would remember you. Let’s see Alfonso, my dear Alfonso. This is your play number…
ALFONSO: I don’t keep track.
CECILIA: Well, you’ve done many plays during your career, with great critical success, but always very polemic. This is the first time that you are doing a play that is more like a comedy, with well-known people and a veteran actor. Why this change?
ALFONSO: First, The Last Play isn’t a comedy. To consider it a comedy is not knowing anything about the possibilities of theater these days. It’s not understanding what Arrabal did back in his time, or Nieva, or the Grotesque, or the Panic Movement. It’s to get mix up with Becket without realizing that he is a clown from the abyss. It’s to consider Koltѐs’ poetry an empty declaration. The Last Play is a terrible piece. It’s Racine but corroded by TV. Do you understand? It’s a theatrical device harmed by its own otherness.
CECILIA: What do you mean with otherness?
ALFONSO: Otherness. I am me. You are you. Don’t you read French?
CECILIA: I like French songs.
Miguel Angel, a middle aged actor, with a lot of experience, but still attractive. Maria Luisa, the seasoned journalist, who at one point was very attractive. She’s been married twice. They know each other very well.
MARIA LUISA: How’s Barbara?
MIGUEL: Good. She’s on a trip. Touring with the company.
MARIA LUISA: Are you doing better?
MIGUEL: I think so. Better. It isn’t the same. We’ve been together fifteen years. But we’ve been fine. What about Gustavo?
MARIA LUISA: Fuentealba has helped him a lot. He is a very good psychologist. Very good.
MIGUEL: I trust Fuentealba as far as I can throw him.
MARIA LUISA: You’ve never believed in anyone.
MIGUEL: But if Gustavo is doing fine…
MARIA LUISA: I’m also seeing a doctor.
MIGUEL: Really? Who’s the one putting up with you?
MARIA LUISA: A woman. I won’t tell you her name so you don’t talk badly of her. Maybe you even screwed her.
MIGUEL: Don’t start rumors, Maria Luisa…
MARIA LUISA: Have you been behaving?
MIGUEL: Like a gentleman.
MARIA LUISA: And the girl?
MIGUEL: Magdalena? She’s starting her career. She’s pretty. But I’m an old dog. I don’t…
Magdalena, a newcomer, very young, very beautiful. Raul, an experienced journalist, a little bit disdainful, slightly seductive.
RAUL: Don’t you get bored always working in projects about the same subject?
MAGDA: Well, love isn’t the same subject…
RAUL: Don’t you think it’s a very crowd pleasing play?
MAGDA: I don’t think so…
RAUL: There is you who are the protagonist of The Storm, there is Miguel, who is super well known, you are directed by Alfonso, who is a sellout himself.
MAGDA: Alfonso is a very serious director.
RAUL: But he is hot right now. Don’t say he isn’t.
MAGDA: I think he’s a very serious director. Besides, he hasn’t done television…
RAUL: That’s what seems strange. He hasn’t done television, he is an alternative director, but he calls you.
MAGDA: Well, I think that’s wonderful…
RAUL: You are a TV star, Miguel hasn’t been doing any theater for a while…
MAGDA: That was JD’s idea, to break that norm that says there is theater people and TV people.
RAUL: The script of The Storm comes from one of his ideas.
MADGA: Yeah, but everyone knows that… I wanted to do theater. He called me…
RAUL: And the two of you get along?
MAGDA: Yes, we do.
Raul: There are rumors about you being more than friends.
Magda laughs out loud, a fake laugh, and long, very long.
MAGDA: Of course not! What are you talking about? He’s older than me. He was my professor back in school. I don’t… Besides, he’s with Melissa.
Magdalena, the newcomer actress. Alfonso, the alternative director.
Alfonso: I need a coffee. A strong coffee. Don’t get nervous Magda. We’ll get there. Let’s see, how can I explain it to you? You are dead. The text is overloaded, very baroque, you have to say it in a neutral tone. If you don’t it seems redundant. You have to say it like this: “My conscience is disturbed…”
Magda: You seem like a dead man.
Alfonso: Exactly… like a dead person… without life…
Magda: I don’t know, I felt it was poetic…
Alfonso let’s out a short, contained laugh.
Magda: You don’t have the right to laugh at me, Alfonso…
Alfonso: I’m not laughing at you. I’m laughing at us. Poetic! JD doesn’t have the slightest idea of what poetic means. You need to know that. No idea. This is pathetic. You are dead. Have you seen Hamlet?
Magda: With Mel Gibson, yes, of course…
Alfonso: that’s not a good example… Have you seen a zombie movie?
Magda: You think I don’t know what I’m doing… that I don’t understand anything.
Alfonso: Magda, let’s not argue on stage. In a rehearsal you don’t argue. If you want we can go get a coffee and you tell me everything, but not here. Never. The stage is a sacred place. This isn’t television. Here the dark vibes remain. Here we never argue.
Magda: You don’t like the play…
Alfonso: I like the play I’m going to do with that text. This play doesn’t exist until you, Miguel Angel and I stage it. It’s only words.
Magda: I think a need a drink too…
Alfonso: Yeah, it’s for the best. You captured the essence. You’re dead. That’s the most important thing… the rest… who’s there?
Jose David, the famous writer. Depressed, ironic, histrionic, and sometimes insufferable. Sofia, the young journalist.
JD: Is the interview over?
Sofia: Yes, the interview is over.
JD: You are acting in a very unprofessional way.
Sofia: Sir, you don’t know the first thing about being professional, or about what you’re doing.
JD: Don’t call me sir, please…
Sofia: Yes, I call you sir, because you like that distance so nobody can touch you, your art, your heart. Not even your kisses are real. You don’t want to truly live. You don’t want to see that the only thing that you actually do is writing. All this time you’ve been talking about death, about devastation, but I don’t buy it, you know. I’m not convinced. The thing is that you don’t dare to accept that you are alive, that you are a true artist. You’re scared. Even your fucking soap-operas were art. When did you start being afraid? When did you realize you are a real artist? Was it when you couldn’t help it?
JD: I’m not a true artist, please. Enough with the nonsense.
Sofia: I’m not talking nonsense. Death, your misfortune, the story you’re telling me, that’s just a frivolity.
JD: Melissa is dying.
Sofia: Yes, and you, sir, are dying with her.
JD: Don’t call me sir! You are not a journalist. Where is all this coming from?
Sofia: On the contrary, that’s exactly what I’m trying to be. Do you want to know why I came to see you? Because you are or were or could be a true artist.
JD: My god.
Sofia: Don’t name what you don’t respect. Don’t pronounce the words Art or God.
JD: You are a dangerous crazy girl.
Sofia: And you are a menacing sane man. You have all the symptoms: resignation, fear of taking a risk, incapable of recognizing the fire you carry within you.
JD: Don’t be ridiculous. You’re talking like a soap-opera. What do you want from me?
Sofia: I don’t want anything anymore. I know what you want from me. You want me to be impressed by you, to upset me, to get me into your bed if possible, so you can bring the interview to an end. I fucked the journalist while my wife was dying. Great. And I’m left marked. I fucked the remains of an artist while his wife was dying. You made me a SOB. Like you, of course.
JD: Very nice.
Sofia: But I am not. Because I’m tired of how easy it is to become a SOB these days. There are SOB everywhere. I’m not interested. I don’t want to interview famous people. I want to interview to know, to know how we can save the world. Do you get it?
JD: They’re going to fire you. Even though you’re very, very professional. When the interviewee becomes a human being you dismiss him. See you.
Sofia: Could you stop setting yourself on fire, please? The smoke pollutes, you know? No, you can’t. You have to become a mercenary, you either kill yourself or destroy everything you touch.
JD: Like you. Don’t you see?
Sofia: You are an artist. A great artist. You can screw your life over if that’s what you want. I’ve read you, and I know what I’m talking about. You don’t know what you’ve done. Or even worse, you can’t bear finding out.
JD: Your optimism is unbearable.
Jose David and Sofia
Phone rings. He doesn’t answer.
Don’t worry. They always call. Always. The phone, the email. I don’t use cell phones any more. It was horrible. It was always ringing. Can you imagine? It stopped. We’re finally alone. Once I had an answering machine. Sometimes I didn’t even connected it. Sometimes I would leave a message saying I was out of the country, that I had gone away, far away. It was weird. A machine with my voice said I was out of the country.
I remember that time. Does it happen to you that suddenly you remember other times? Like a lightning hitting you in the forehead. Memories. Does it happen to you? I was always out of the country. But I really wasn’t. But I wasn’t here either. I wasn’t anywhere. I was famous, very famous. That means I didn’t exist. Somehow, being famous is like disappearing. Actually, it wasn’t my voice. It was Melissa’s. “We are traveling. Leave a message and we’ll call when we get back.” Melissa doesn’t have a pretty voice. Never did. You should have heard her. She sounded like a little girl. “We are traveling”. What were we talking about?