What’s your name and where are you from?
My name is Marc Halsey. I grew up in Burnsville, Minnesota. Now I live in Los Angeles.
What are you working on here at SPACE?
I’m working on a new play about people and resources. My dad is an ecosystem designer. He travels the world helping indigenous communities and Third World countries restore their lands, designing strategies to fundamentally change their ecosystems to support the people there for generations. As a result, he hangs with a crew that is, like many of us, very worried about the direction this planet is going in. And that got me thinking about how much we’re willing to sacrifice today to save ourselves tomorrow. And what a future might look like, not too far off, where we actually fixed everything. At a cost.
What’s next for you and your project?
As for the project, hopefully it’ll continue to evolve and you know, we’ll see what happens. Then I’ll get back to the LA where I’m about to start writing for a new tv show. So that’s kinda my deadline.
Are there any ensembles or groups you tend to work with there?
Before heading West, I kinda worked around. Guthrie Theater, Lookingglass, Chautauqua. In L.A. now I see as much theater as humanly possible. Circle X and Chalk Rep are a couple of my favorites.
Do the theater and television communities there ever cross-pollinate?
Oh for sure. In addition to all the amazing playwrights working in tv, theater people are everywhere. I feel like a lot of us grew up wanting to do the school play or musical and loved it, maybe chose different work paths for work but ended up being an exec or designer or gaffer or accountant on shows. Because we all share that love of telling stories and remember personally how much of an impact a story can have on you, whether it’s an escape or opening your eyes to something.
Where have you been spending most of your time on the farm?
The chicken coop. Newly renovated. Lambs adjacent. Very pleasant. Though some days I’ve just stayed in my room upstairs in Kay Hall where it’s air-conditioned and I can put post-its all over the walls without anyone thinking I’m nuts.
If there’s a question informing your work right now, what is it?
I think it would be, “Why are we all spending our lives like this... and is there a better way?”
If you were reincarnated as a farm animal, what animal would you be and why?
The mouse in the chicken coop. He’s small but he has big dreams. He never stops moving, always running around for his life, adapting to new surroundings. But I think he really just needs to chill. The worst thing that could get into the coop is like a breeze or a bug. No one’s gonna eat him. Everything’s gonna be fine. Well, everything except the planet, I guess. Maybe that’s why he’s so freaked out. He knows something we don’t. Hmm I think I went too deep, didn’t I? Let’s just say we look alike.
Interview by Maggie Gayford