Tell us a little about Transport Group.
Jack Cummings III
So, Transport Group is an off-Broadway theatre company. We deal with American work, American experience, American authors. We’ve been around thirteen years. Or thirteen seasons. We do revivals and new works, plays and musicals. They all kind of center around American themes in the 20th and 21st century.
Wait. Who are you?
I’m Jack Cummings.
I am Hannah Oren. I’m the marketing associate.
I’m David Greenspan. I’m an actor and a playwright associated with Transport Group. We started by doing a reading of the 40th anniversary of The Boys in the Band. I’ve acted in it previously in a previous revival and subsequently done a solo program under the direction of Jack in close association with Krista and Dane. Now working on another solo project with Transport Group.
I’m a dramaturg.
I’m a set designer.
So what have you been working on here, specifically on Ryder farm?
We are working on and considering a solo rendition, for me as an actor, of Eugene O'Neill’s Strange Interlude. Which is now, we figure, a six-hour play. Or it might be, given an hour and half dinner break, a seven-and-a-half hour theatre experience. We’ve spent the week reading the play, studying it, discussing it. Culminating in a straight through reading that I did of the play. Now, we are going to spend the remaining time we have here discussing it further. And considering what we might do with it in the future.
Krista, as a dramaturg, what are your thoughts?
Well, we came to David four years ago hoping to do a solo piece with him. There were a whole number of ideas that we flirted with and then systematically rejected until David stumbled upon The Patsy, which was the last thing we did together. It felt completely impossible as we were working on it, right up until the minute it kind of opened up and we all got really excited about it and it turned into a pretty remarkable and unprecedented theatrical experience. One that was both theatrically abstract and emotionally, viscerally joyful. We wanted to do that again but not recreate the same emotional or intellectual experience for the audience. So, we went through the same process of flirting. We came to David with a number of projects, but David brought Strange Interlude to the table. And again it was the same feeling of this is completely impossible. Whenever you encounter a project that you think is completely impossible, and you are surrounded by people you have a lot of trust and and faith in artistically, it is almost your responsibility to dive in.
One thing we’re talking about or at least trying to do in theory is to do it uncut. And trying to figure out the balance between the event of the situation and the story. And trying to make sure they all line up together.
What’s coming up with Transport Group?
In the winter we’re doing a production of Almost, Maine.
If you were a farm animal, vegetable, something on Ryder farm, if you were to reincarnate yourself what would each of you be?
I’d be a duck.
I would also go with duck. Strong affinity for them.
I think we couldn’t come back as a farm animal or a vegetable because I’ve gotten such pleasure from interacting with the animals. That includes the chickens and turkeys and the ducks and the sheep. I’ve observed the swallows and a number of other birds. So, it’s been, besides artistically, a satisfying experience as sparked by the environment. It’s been a wonderful opportunity to experience the animals and nature.
David’s connection with the chickens and roosters and ducks has been significant. When we were in the Corn Crib doing the reading, they migrated from their home to the screen door of the Corn Crib and gathered around the screen window. Listening to five of the six-and-a-half hours of the presentation. Kind of settled into a little sunny patch. We think the turkeys didn’t get it but the ducks seemed to be on board. Tough first test audience.
I think I would be a s'more.
Can I come back as a canoe?
Interviewed by Emily Simoness