I have the immense delight and distinct honor to direct Without a Spot or Wrinkle, a new play by local entertainer Tiffanie Bridges opening this Friday, Jan 31st at 8pm. The cast is marvelous (Arianne Villareal, Dan Flahive, David Marlowe, Ben Schuetz, BJ Bovin and playwright Bridges) and the process has been both incredibly enjoyable and challenging. But before there can be a play to direct, one must decide to put the time/energy/mojo into creating a story that is worth telling. And before that story can be told, one must determine if this story will translate to the stage. And finally, before one can put the story on the stage, one must put pen to paper and go through the somewhat tedious task of expressing thoughts and ideas in a way that future directors and prospective actors can decipher to bring the characters and plot to life
for an audience.
Tiffanie Bridges had a leg up on this from the start. When I saw her one woman show IS THAT YOUR REEL HAIR? at IndyFringe 2011 it was apparent that the woman was a brilliant entertainer. She could weave a plot line around her finger like a spiral curl. She could fling a punchline as sharply as flinging a ponytail. She could.. ok enough hair analogies.. she was good. And it was obvious she had a gift for comedy and timing. But, it wasn't until I saw Voice of an Angel: A Tribute to the Queen of Gospel, her beautiful piece honoring Mahalia Jackson, that I recognized her gorgeous strength in storytelling.
The piece was lovely.. it was serious.. it had humor... and it kept it's audience entranced until the bittersweet yet endearing end.
However, writing a play for oneself is quite different than creating one for others to perform. So, here are 9 questions answered by Tiffanie Bridges. Some will help you understand a little more about Tiffany. Some will help you understand a little more about life. And some will help you understand the reason why corporations have blocks on certain websites to keep their employees from wasting time. But I'm glad Bridges wasted time to answer them... enjoy.
— Ben Asaykwee
1. It's not an every day occurence that one finds themselves writing/directing a play... what is your reason(s) for doing so now?
I've always wanted to be a writer. I like writing fun things that people can relate to and I LOVE to laugh (it keeps me from crying, but I still cry sometimes, because life is hard and...well, ya know what I mean!)
2. What was your primary reason for writing/directing this
piece in particular?
I wrote this piece because growing up in church...I've seen a lot, lol! But I wanted to write something a bit light-hearted that would be fun and maybe audience members would see someone they know :)
3. What's your FAVORITE PLAY EVER!?!?!?! Or at least one you really, REALLY like? Or at least one you've seen recently that you've liked? Or at least one you've seen recently? Or at least one you've seen...ever? ...Read? ...Heard about? (I'm only really looking for one answer.. I just wanted to make sure to cover all the bases)
I L-O-V-E Hairspray! I'm very partial to musicals because I make up songs about anything, all day, every day.
4. What is your favorite personal aspect of the writing/directing process?
Coming up with the who, what, why, when, and where of my story and placing characters in funny situations.
5. If there was a play about tiny little penguin (not just tiny as in small, but tiny as in the size of peanut... because he was shrunk by something scientific or a warlock or something, that's not important).. a tiny little penguin that can't find his way back to his little igloo (made of used ice-cubes from a fountain drink, probably diet coke if I were to direct)... if a play like this existed, what would you name it?
Lost on Ice Island. (?!?)
6. If your play was made into a film, who would you like to see in one of the roles (we're talking movie stars here)?
7. Who would you like to starring in the penguin play?
Jennifer Tilly (because her voice is funny)
8. Are the characters in this piece based on anything/anyone in particular? If so, can you elaborate? (if not, it's cool)
Just simple church folks (that I may or may not have attended church with over the years...)
9. If (or when) your play was to be produced on Broadway and they gave you a dressing room to hang out in during production and they said you could have any ONE thing you desired in that room... but couldn't take it out of the room... what would it be?
I would absolutely need my sock monkey Miss Pinky!