Reclusive billionaire and Brooklyn native Danny Bowes has written, with persecuted gadfly Tom X. Chao, a Pretentious Festival show that states its mission in its title: This Is the New American Theatre. Between bouts of crafting innovation out of shapeless matter using such tools as nudity and excessive self-absorption, Bowes has taken some time to answer our questionnaire. Here are his answers. (This Is the New American Theatre opens on Saturday, June 2nd - find out more about it at bricktheater.com/pretentious)
What exactly makes your show so damn pretentious anyway?
Two guys. One medium. Total reinvention.
Name some obscure influences on your work – extra points for unpronounceability.
Since the whole point of the show is that it's the NEW American Theatre, the only influences on this show are Danny Bowes and Tom X. Chao. However, I still get the extra points because for some reason no one can pronounce "Bowes." (It's like "oh" not "ow" . . . "ow" is what happens when I smack you for mispronouncing my name.)
The late Roland Barthes once wrote "For the theatre one needs long arms; it is better to have them too long than too short. An artiste with short arms can never, never make a fine gesture." Explicate.
Monsieur Barthes is, of course, being French, both pretentious and absolutely right. Both myself (Danny Bowes) and Tom X. Chao are in the neighborhood of six feet tall and, thus, have arms of sufficient length to make fine gestures, including the metaphoric extension of the middle finger to all theatrical traditions which preceded our much-needed reinvention of the medium.
In what ways do you plan on alienating your audience? Cite an intentionally opaque or confusing moment within your production.
We intend to alienate all theatergoers who like bad theater. Anyone looking for a boring show where the actors are unfunny and wear clothes is sure to be disappointed.
Which other Pretentious Festival show will you declare as your sworn ideological enemy, and why?
All other shows in the Pretentious Festival are our sworn ideological enemies for they either: a) are based in theatrical traditions that are neither new nor American; b) fail to adhere to the principles governing the New American Theatre outlined in our show; c) have actresses who are less hot and less naked than ours; or d) suck.
Please give us the gist of the acceptance speech you would use were you to win one of our Pretentious Awards.
Gist? I'll give you the whole speech: "You're welcome."