The Interrobang Theatre Project is underway with the company’s second season. The first show of the season is The Argument written by Gregory Moss and directed by Jeffry Stanton, showing at the Viaduct Theater from Oct. 7 to Nov. 5.
The play follows twin sisters Ana and Mia. A flood breaks the levee in the sisters fictitious city, flooding the city and killing many people in its path, along with Ana. Mia, feeling guilty for surviving when her sister did not, carries Ana’s body through the wasteland that is left behind after the flood seeking “love and happiness for her lifeless twin.”
“There are plays that jump out of the batch at you, and you know that you have to do it. This is one of those. It’s so challenging. The world that has to be created is odd, magical, desperate and scary,” said director Jeffry Stanton.
Stanton is a collaborator, playwright, director and adaptor, having worked on and acted in plays from Broadway to Boston. He attended Emerson College and Boston University receiving degrees in acting, theatre education and directing. He is an Associate Member of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers.
The play was based on first hand experiences writer Gregory Moss had while living in Florida around the time of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. “[The play] definitely reflects on that event and the sort of systematic government and personal failures that were dealt with around the country,” said Moss. “You can’t dramatize or act the end of the world globally. You just have this one little relationship that is used to understand it.”
Moss, a graduate of Brown University, is from Newburyport, Mass. He has written numerous plays and worked in film. Both have been shown in many cities in the U.S. and abroad.
The play dives into the unseen and unbelievable that comes along with tragedy. Ana and Mia encounter heaps of trash and rot, along with many dead bodies. “It pushes way into the grotesque for sure, but I still feel like, to me, that there are things that go on in the world that are not so different from that,” Moss said.
The actors and actresses have been working on bring their own instances into their character.
“It is not ‘what is my character doing in this moment’ because there is no time for that thought. It is ‘what am I doing in this moment.’” said Victoria Bucknell on her process of playing Ana.
Carla Kessler, who plays Mia drew some of her own life tragedies into the character. “I thought about 9/11 because I was there that day and I did run away from the buildings. To personalize it really helps.”
The Interrobang Theatre was opened formally in late 2010 by Stanton. “The biggest motivation was that I wanted to have an active role in the community. I wanted to be able make theatre affordable and available to a large audience.”
An interrobang is a punctuation mark combining the question mark and the exclamation point.
“It is used to ask really exciting or intense questions. If you think about asking exciting questions, that’s kind of what theatre does,” said Gregory Owen-Boger, Managing Director of the Interrobang Theatre Project.
Owen-Boger is not new to the theatre scene. He has done everything from acting to directing, touring, writing and composing.
Do not expect to see any Broadway type shows courtesy the Interrobang Theatre. “There are a lot of theaters in this town that do that really really well,” said Stanton. “I think that what we can offer is not what you see on the New York stage. I tend to like the underdog. There are tons and tons of fabulous players and play writes that do not get done. I like championing those kinds of works.”