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Milwaukee Playwright Adds Salt to Festival

Sep. 19, 2011
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Jeffrey James Ircink is a UWWhitewater graduate and recently moved back to Milwaukee as a playwright and actor. The new short film Pass The Salt, Please will be at the Milwaukee Festival. It is adapted from his stage play, and targets sexuality, age, and feminism in an outrageous and comical way. The film centers on an elderly couple having dinner. Together they begin to explicitly and unexpectedly verbalize their sexual desires for each other, while vigorously passing a mundane saltshaker back and forth.

Why open the film with a Betty Friedan quote?

I am a feminist. I wanted to show a woman taking control of her role in the bedroom. I am for equality. Sex sells, and no matter how prudish someone may be, everybody is sexual. Even the most demure woman has a sexual side. The passing of the salt in the film can represent an equalizer of roles sexually.

How was it working with Oscar nominee Seymour Cassel?

I have known him for a couple of years. He is a hoot. He is used to playing and experimenting on the set, he was very open to improvisation.

What are some of your favorite films?

I love Capra and Hitchcock. I love great stories. It may sound like a cliché, but I really do. I love It's a Wonderful Life
, and then Braveheart. I appreciate films with a warmth of storytelling.

How will Milwaukee impact your future in the arts?

I love Milwaukee. There is a lot going on here. I am glad that the film is being shown here, in my hometown. I want to produce some of my own plays here, it is affordable, and you can actually make some money. However, I am still wading my way through Milwaukee culture, I am really looking forward to doing stuff here.

Pass the Salt, Please screens as part of a short film program beginning midnight, Sept. 24 at the Oriental Theatre.


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