What is your name and where are you from?
My name is Max Baker. I live in NYC.
What have you been working on at SPACE?
I have been working on a new play that I just began this summer.
How have you spent your time at SPACE?
Socializing! I have followed a much more rigid structure than I normally do, and that has actually been very freeing. I find that I actually get a lot done; it’s been very productive. I flit around from place to place. I was in the gazebo for many hours on two of the days, which was especially nice.
What is next for this project?
I will look for the impetus to continue, and hopefully by this time next year it will be in a place where we can hear some of it out loud.
How long have you been writing plays for?
Well, I suppose that the answer to that is since I was 18, in one form or another. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that one ends up with a play. But it’s certainly a process that I have been through for a long time.
If you were to be reincarnated as a farm animal, what farm animal would you be and why?
Well, do you get to pick the farm you are on? I don’t want to be a chicken on a chicken farm. If it is a free-range, organic farm of animals just living together, then I like the idea of being a pig. But if it is a farm where lots of slaughters are happening all the time, then I would rather be a dog—so that there would be more love there, perhaps. Although, I always think that farm cats tend to do well; they get the rule of the joint. I am not a big cat fan, but probably being one I would become a fan of being one. It’s so funny, isn’t it? Because our idea of farm animals is that they are all living in nice little enclosures and that they are all friends. It’s very Charlotte’s Web. But the reality of contemporary farms is so far different from that. I would not want to be a cow on a Monsanto farm. I think picking the farm it is more important than picking the animal. If you pick the right farm you could be happy being any of the animals. But if you were on the wrong farm, you wouldn’t want to be any of the animals.
Anything else you would like to share about your time at SPACE?
I came up last year and at the end of time I was thinking, ‘my gosh, what an extraordinarily magical experience it was.’ And it’s the same feeling now. There is actually something in this specific environment that actually promotes positive work. Because I think you can go to places where the atmosphere doesn’t feed into the work. And here it does. I don’t know if it’s because it’s a magnet drawing those people, or if the people come and bring that, or if it is a combination of those two things. It’s the beginning of something that could blossom into an amazing place. And you just get that sense that it’s a little sapling that wants to grow. And wanting to nurture it and be nurtured by it at the same time is just fantastic. It’s a sensation. I think there are some more established places where you can go and do this same thing. But you are bound by the existing energy, rather than being part of creating what the energy is going to become.
Interviewed by Alison McLaughlin.