What’s your name and where are you from?
My name is Max Posner, and I grew up in Denver, Colorado, but I live in Brooklyn.
Where in Brooklyn?
I live in Crown Heights.
What are you working on at SPACE?
I’ve been working on a brand new play, it’s a commission, it’s still forming so I don’t want to ruin it by speaking too much. It’s a play about specific people in my family. It’s the first time I have written something that is, at this point in the process, very based in hard facts. It’s a about a man whose mother is nearing the end of her life and it would be very convenient if she would just die. It’s from both of their perspectives and they’re wrestling to have control over the play. It focuses on language and the ways in which they each create the narrative how the other person has failed them and neither of their versions are accurate. I’m really to make a play where nothing is accurate, where everyone’s experience of each other is louder than any reality. But based in family secrets and facts. I’m thinking about state of dying right now. In some cultures there would be a real expectation and tradition of caring for your parents when they’re old, and that’s sort of what you do with your life. And as our parents live longer and longer and longer and our lives are more and more involved in our own immediate family, in separate cities maybe, what is our responsibility to that? So I’m thinking about guilt too. And being a woman born in the 1920’s, and being a guy born in the 50’s.
It sounds like there is no one person that this play is happening to.
Yeah, everyone is sort of warring to be the definitive voice on what is true in this play and family so it’s really about the internal states of these people and the distance between what is actually going on for them and the things that are available for them to discuss with each another. It’s also about…well there is a problem with money in the play and keeping a person’s idea of their class alive after they don’t have any money. I think that money is scary and gross to write about. This woman has this idea of being from a certain class and expects her sons to maintain that image long after she has the means. In some ways it’s about the first generation of people to ever get credit cards, and about a lost era of abundance.
What else have you been doing at SPACE other than working on this play?
I’ve been working on another play of mine called Judy, which I’m about to do workshop production of at Julliard. Ken Rus Schmoll, who is directing that, came up this week and we read it out loud, and we played all the parts, which was great. I’ve been doing lots of reading. I’ve also been swimming this week! I like having time to explore a lot of things that will definitely not be in the play but are useful for grasping what the universe of these people and their headspaces.
If you were to be reincarnated as a farm animal which farm animal would you be?
I really like the maniac farm cat. He’s really crazy, but I think he gets a bad rap. Everyone treats him like he has rabies, but he doesn’t have rabies I don’t think. Actually, at the beginning of my time here he would hiss and run away, and now, today, we almost touched.
(Laughs) And how did that make you feel?
It made me feel really good. Everyday, he’s gotten three feet closer to me than he was the day before. I’m sad I’m leaving tomorrow because I feel like if I spent another week here, we would end up spending a night in my bed together, and it’s too bad. He’s also really flexible, I’ll show you this picture I took of him, he did this very crazy thing. I live with a cat, and he’s not that flexible.
You live with a cat? What’s your cat’s name?
Monkey, but I also feel like this cat has made me think of the difference between being an indoor cat in an apartment and being an outdoor cat on a farm.
I would rather be an outdoor cat.
Yes definitely. Except you end up not needing people at all, he has no use for people. Except for me now, because he loves me now. I think he would let me pet him. I mean, Rachel (Bonds) tried and got a rude awakening.
So you would like to be the farm cat?
Yeah, he’s psycho. But also self-sufficient, we also don’t know where he sleeps. He was also on the roof of Kay Hall shortly after the storm, and for that I was jealous of him. You know? He had such a good view of the action.
Interviewed by Raquel Loving.