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April 11, 2017
Q&A: Karen Ludwig and Katie Looney on Their Upcoming Shows at the Downtown Urban Arts Festival

The Downtown Urban Arts Festival brings six weeks of multi-disciplinary cultural offerings to lower Manhattan, including theater, film, music and poetry. We caught up with two theater artists whose work will be shown at Joe's Pub at The Public in April: Karen Ludwig and Katie Looney.

Karen Ludwig, Where Was I?

Thursday, April 13 at 9:30pm, Joe’s Pub at The Public 

Tell us about your show.

It’s the story – humorous and poignant – of a life spent in the arts.  From playing Meryl Streep’s lover on film (Woody Allen’s Manhattan), to Ethel Rosenberg on TV (“Citizen Cohn”), to many memorable theater performances, I have been fortunate enough to have worked for over four decades with some of Broadway and Hollywood's biggest stars.

What have been the most exciting things about seeing your show jump from the page to the stage?

Every single time is a discovery -- each night a new audience reaction!

Who are your favorite playwrights, past and present?

Arthur Miller, Chekhov, Lanford Wilson, Lisa Kron, Edward Albee, Halley Feiffer, Jules Feiffer.

What would you change about the current state of theater?

More Off-B’way theaters that have affordable rent and affordable tickets -- especially for students! More support for women writers!

What famous line do you wish you’d written?

"If you’re going to tell them the truth, you’d better make them laugh or they’ll kill you” - Geo. Bernard Shaw


Katie Looney, Salt Kid Watches Brooklyn Burn

Thursday April 27 at 9:30pm, Joe’s Pub at The Public

Tell us about your show.

A New York City college student wakes up covered in bumps and grapples to stay living in reality as they slowly turn to salt. Based on true events and infused with indie rock, Salt Kid Watches Brooklyn Burn fights the social snares of dominator culture within a radical adaptation of the biblical event of Lot's Wife.

What have been the most exciting things about seeing your show jump from the page to the stage?

What I find most exciting is how text transforms/grows/blossoms/tangles/explodes infinitely and instantaneously when a group of talented and ego-aware collaborators come together to build something new.

What would you change about the current state of theater? 

A revolution of thought and action regarding who is telling whose/what stories; how are we actively working to be more inclusive, how are we giving the floor to people of color, disabled folks, immigrants, youth, LGB people and/or gender minorities (which are not exclusive or exhaustive "categories"); and how can we compensate and support artists in creating sensitive, risk-taking new work. Lastly, I really interested in how we might mobilize regional theatres to be places for intersectional devising of new work.

What famous line do you wish you’d written?

Scene 4 and 5 in Heiner Müller's Hamletmachine. Perhaps it's not so much that I wish I had written them, or that I seek to write how he wrote, but that I aspire to that level of complexity and surrealism in certain arenas of my aesthetic.

 

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