What’s your name and where are you from?
My name is Ethan Lipton, and I’m originally from Southern California.
Where in Southern California?
Van Nuys in Northridge in the San Frenando Valley in Los Angeles.
What are you working on at SPACE?
I’m working on a play called The Agonist which I’ve had a workshop of earlier in the year. I have another workshop coming up in the fall and so I wanted to do a new draft so I have been working on a new draft here.
Great! Can you tell us what the play is about?
They play is set in the Valley in Recita in a gym. It’s sort of about the American Dream and who gets away with things and who gets in trouble.
What else have you been doing at SPACE? Any other projects?
I have been here for five days, and I have just been working on that play. I’ve mixed in some corn hole and I’ve mixed in a couple of rows around the lakes, or canoes around the lake, and then some eating, and some chatting.
Who did you go canoeing with or did you go by yourself?
I went solo.
You went solo? That’s brave. Everyone I’ve talked to says, “Oh, I went with a friend,” and usually people want to go swimming afterwards and it’s hard to get back in the canoe without a friend. Which seems to be a lesson for life…
Yeah, don’t go swimming alone!
What else do you have coming up, other than The Agonist?
I have another workshop of a play I’ve been working on called Too Macho that I’ve been workshopping, and then I have some shows with my band. We’re doing a show at Barrington Stage in the fall, then we’ll be at the University of Texas in January, and Purdue University.
What’s your band called?
We’re called Ethan Lipton & his Orchestra, and we’re a four-piece band. This is a show called “No Place to Go” that we’ve been touring a lot over the last couple of years. It’s a theatrical song cycle.
What instrument do you play?
I sing and I write the songs.
How long have you been singing?
10, 12 years, sort of later in life. I was a playwright first and then this is something I started doing as a sort of lark at first after I moved to New York, and then it sort of took on a life of it’s own. Started playing out and started getting a band together, and now I’m with the same three guys for almost about ten years.
Where did you meet them?
In New York.
If you were going to be reincarnated a farm animal, which farm animal would you be and why?
Hm. I think I might be that wild turkey that’s out there.
There’s a wild turkey?
There’s a wild turkey on this property. He sneaks up on you, and he makes this big “whoop” and he runs away. He looked like he was having fun doing it.
Where did you see him?
I saw him on the path on the low road, but he was right there in the bushes. I think I scared him, and he was like, (makes a turkey noise), and he ran off.
Interviewed by Raquel Loving.