Delivering the Visual
FREAKSHOW Director Jason Economus pt. 1
A talented actor in his own right, Jason Economus has had some extremely memorable performances in Milwaukee. By far the most memorable had to be his turn in the final production of the late Bialystock and Bloom Theatre Company—a production of Edward Albee’s ZOO STORY that brought remarkable dramatic intensity to the stage of the Broadway Theatre Center’s Studio Theatre. This week, Economus looks to bring a similar kind of dramatic intensity to an entirely different stage as he directs Youngblood Theatre Company’s production of FREAKSHOW—a hauntingly poetic drama the company is staging in a warehouse. Economus took some time to answer a few questions I had about the show. Here he talks about the bringing the visual realities of a somehwat fantastic story to the stage.
There’s [an] obvious visual challenge of a cast full of circus freaks. Are you going to let the poetry in Kreitzer's script deliver the delicious creepiness of the atmosphere, or is there a great deal of work also going into the visuals on the production end?
It will be a mixture of both-obviously Kreitzer is a very, very smart playwright-she has a unique and often poetic voice in this script. She has helped each character truly bring something beyond the obvious and surprising to almost every scene. That being said there still is some great stuff to explore with what a "freakshow" itself was all about and how it might look or sound or feel to audience in 2010-there is a wonderful team of designers each bringing a lot to the table but I think all trying to create a cohesive world based on the text-there is something creepy about the space itself and [costume designer] Frank Barrows is helping to really flesh out in a believable/creative way the 'freaks' themselves and [Sound Designer] Loren Watson is making some very, very interesting music and sound throughout the show to do a lot at once-foreshadow, underscore and entice and move the audience. Add to this a cast that has been exploring something new every day of rehearsal and doing it quite fearlessly and full of a playful spirit there really is no telling how alive we can make this story when we finally have folks sitting at Lincoln Storage ready for a play!
Youngblood Theatre’s FREAKSHOW runs October 29th – November 20th at the Lincoln Storage Warehouse on 2018 South 1st Street.