To start, what is your name and where are you from?
My name is Ethan Lipton and I’m from the San Fernando Valley in Southern California.
And what projects are you working on during your time at SPACE?
Well I’m working on a couple of different things. I’m working on a project with The Civilians Theater Company about the privatization of public education in America, which focuses on charter schools in North Carolina. And then I’m also working on a play about some swiss mathematicians.
Is the Civilians project based on interviews you conducted yourself?
That project is built on investigative interviews with parents, teachers, administrators, policy people, and politicians, mostly around Raleigh and Durham. I went down there with the director, Steve Cosson and four actors, and we were worked with two people based in North Carolina, through a residency with Duke University. We were trying to find people where they are and get as many stories of their experiences with charter schools.
And the Swiss mathematicians play, is that also based in real experiences?
Yes, it’s based on the Bernoulli family. There are 8 Bernoulli mathematicians, and 3 of them are super important in the development of math, calculus, all sorts of things. The play focuses on a quartet of Bernoulli’s; Johann, Jacob, Daniel, and Nicholas. It’s about the dynamics of father-son relationships, brother relationships, competition, mathematical investigation, all of those things.
So where have you been working on these projects during your time on the farm so far?
I spend the bulk of my time in my room working, and then the other spots I like are the bowling green for corn hole games and I like to walk down to the lake and over to the hayfield. Lots of good spots.
What’s in store for you after your time at the farm?
I’ll be continuing on these projects, I’ll be going back to Duke to do more research and play development on that project, I’ll be touring a piece I did at the Public called “The Outer Space”, and working on a bunch of other stuff.
If you were a farm animal, what animal would you be?
I feel like I would be a sheep because, you know, they can look up in the sky and see themselves reflected back in the clouds. I feel like it’s a pretty good gig as a sheep. The demands aren’t too high but you’re engaged on a moment to moment basis so… There you go.