< PortFringe 2024

PF-21 ARTIST INTERVIEW – Dick Sewell (of Purple Crayon)

A Moment with Dick Sewell (company: Purple Crayon) of LATE CONVERSATIONS

Why did you choose PortFringe this year? Same as every year – because it’s fun. And because it creates contact with others who find the same fun and satisfaction in it.

How was your PortFringe show born? On the eve of my wife Kim Gordon’s birthday, I tried to dash her off a script. I let myself think I was writing in the vein of a performance piece Kim had particularly enjoyed. The result had a side dark enough to seem a very dubious birthday present. To my delight, she really liked it.

What have you learned as an artist during the last year of pandemic times? I’ve realized how much I miss live theater! I’ve enlarged my thoughts about collaboration during this project. I’d always felt that a play (or film, I guess)  was best served by a single director’s vision. Art , (I told myself) is the voice of an individual.  Like democracy, art values unique personhood. Nonetheless, in Late Conversations, all four of us exchanged ideas about the characters, the flow of the scenes, the sounds & the visuals. There is no “directed by” in our final credits because the shape of the piece really evolved within the whole team (Chris Tucker, Bryn Sewell, Kim Gordon & myself, Dick Sewell) –  and that felt right.

Why is FRINGE important? It is a setting where risk-taking is encouraged and celebrated. We felt comfortable making unconventional choices, knowing they would get a fair viewing here.

It’s PortFringe’s 10th Birthday!  What do you remember about being ten? Is my first theater memory from when I was ten, or younger?  It’s of a school Hallowe’en play. Was the cast schoolmates?  Eighth graders from across the hall?  The set was surely the blackboard and Mrs. Jones’s big desk. Yet I recall an orange autumn dusk, Jack o’ Lantern perched on a split-rail fence, talking to a witch. I saw moonrise, saw Jack roll away.  All that must have been in my head. As many actors through the years have asked many audiences: “Piece out our imperfections with your thoughts..!”

Have you checked out the other PF21 show listings? Pick one you’re excited to see or learn more about! Deepest Regrets is on my list. I’ve always admired the work of Khalil LeSaldo. Some of the 2Sheets Theater Company performances were really amazing – funny & heart-wrenchingly true at the same time. He’s been missed while he’s been in North Carolina and I’m curious about what he’s up to now.

write a haiku about your show

Dead bird on white plate,

Winter-mad horse flees the barn.

Sister memories.


< PortFringe 2024

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