Aaron Mark is a rising director and play and screen writer. His current projects include Ben Rimalower’s award-winning monodrama, Patti Issues, at the Duplex in NYC as well as Another Medea as part of All For One Theater Festival.
From October 19- October 30 at the Cherry Lane Studio Theatre (38 Commerce Street) be sure to catch Tony Award nominee Tom Hewitt in Another Medea, a riveting new take on the classic Greek Tragedy. Click here for tickets!
For more on Aaron be sure to visit http://www.aaronmark.webs.com!
1. Who or what inspired you to become a writer and director? I don't quite remember what started it, but I know in third grade I wrote and directed two plays. I don't think there's anything else I ever thought I would do.
2. Who haven't you worked with that you would like to? Valerie Cherish.
3. You are presenting Another Medea at the All For One Theater Festival from October 19-30. What made you want to write a gay version of Medea? I knew I was interested in doing a contemporary spin on Medea before I knew the character would be a gay man. The Medea adaptation that really hooked me in was Charles Ludlam's adaptation, and in that production, "Medea" was played by Everett Quinton in drag. That got me thinking about who the character would be today if she was, in fact, a man, rather than a woman played by a man. From there, my "Medea" (in this play, his name is Marcus Sharp) became a gay man, an actor in New York, so he has a context and a knowledge of the Medea story itself and many of its retellings, which come into play in his own story. In this way, Another Medea is less a straightforward adaptation and more an adaptation-that-knows-and-explores-that-it's-an-adaptation.
4. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing the show? Exhilaration. I hope they're stunned.
5. What excites you about having Another Medea in the All For One TheaterFestival? The timing and the environment. Tom Hewitt and I worked on the show at the Duplex in April and then went up to Dartmouth to do a residency for New York Theatre Workshop in August. To be able to do the play, go away for a few months, return to it, step away again, and now dive back into it for AFO is really a privilege. The timing has been strangely perfectly suited to the process we've needed and to be in that fantastic space at the Cherry Lane, around Halloween, surrounded by such an eclectic group of solo artists and support from AFO is really ideal for us right now.
6. What has been the best part about working with Tom Hewitt? It's hard to pinpoint one best thing about working with Tom, for whom I could not have more respect and admiration. He's an actor with a remarkable ability to draw an audience into a dangerous story in a way that is uniquely charming and welcoming. For me, one of the great things about working with him on this particular piece is that he's not like this character. It's been an absolute necessity, in the midst of this brutally dark material, to be able to laugh as hard as we do in rehearsal.
7. What is your favorite part of the creative process in writing/directing a play or movie? Is your process different for each medium? My two favorite things in general are writing and working with actors. Doing a play, those two activities take up pretty much the entire process, so that's a toss-up. For film, the working with actors part goes away quicker than I'd like it to. My films are very low-budget, so it tends to be a much faster process from inception to the actual doing of it, which suits me, but I much prefer the immediacy and the energy of the theatre.
8. What have you learned about yourself from being a writer and director? That if I don't trust my instincts, even if they're unpopular, I am unavoidably miserable.
9. What's the best advice you've ever received? I was waiting for the express train and a local train came and a homeless man said to me, "Just take the train that moves."
10. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? The super power of being able to pay rent in Manhattan.
Writer/director of the independent feature films Random Unrelated Projects (Best Experimental Feature/NYIFF), Commentary (Anthology Film Archives/NewFilmmakers NY), and the upcoming Do Not Duplicate. Some of his plays are Failed Suicide Attempts (Living Room Series/Blank Theatre), Cirque du Mental (8 Plays in 8 Days/American Theater Group), Fucking Wagner, Dead Agenting, Plays With Landline Phones, Subject, Bait, and Deer. Directing work includes Hedwig and the Angry Inch for BC/EFA at New World Stages. He is twenty-six and does not have aaronmark.com because it belongs to a German gay porn star with the same name.