Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Investigative Dramaturgy: Butt Kapinski @ Edfringe 2015

Free Fringe – Liquid Rooms (comedy, murder mystery, thriller)

8 – 30th (not Tuesdays) 14.10

Think it’s a solo show? Think again. Private Eye Butt Kapinski invites you to co-star in this film noir installation fantasy. This funny, filthy, fully interactive ride is riddled with shadows, sin, sex, and violence. Let’s kick reality to the curb and play in a make-believe city of dark dreams and bad similes.

From the director of Red Bastard, Deanna Fleysher is Butt Kapinski. Straight from the streets of New York City and LA, the world of Dragnet, Magnum P.I, Cagney & Lacey, with more than a hint of legends of film Fritz Lang, Billy Wilder and Jean-Pierre Melville.

Butt invites the audience into the space to solve a crime. On stage with his portable streetlight this is audience participation where the audience are in on the joke and play the detecting game – interactive theatre for people who are scared of interactive theatre. Think Cluedo, live, but not, and much more fun.

“Butt Kapinski is the kid on the playground who has the best imagination games, but who sits alone in the cafeteria. Being at a Butt show is like having the best recess with the weirdest kid in school.” — Deanna Fleysher.

Fleysher has been performing as Butt Kapinski for over six years and the show grew out of Fleysher’s extensive experience as a director, clown and teacher / practitioner running The Naked Comedy Lab.


“…It’s a brave, sometimes terrifying spectacle to have a performer construct a play in conversation with an audience like this, Fleysher pulls it off beautifully” — Vancouver Sun

BEST OF FEST: Edmonton Fringe 2014, Calgary Fringe 2014, Hollywood Fringe 2013

“Super funny and astonishingly inventive… it’s like watching a trapeze artist soar without a net…” —Arts Beat LA

The Fringe
What inspired this production: did you begin with an idea or a script or an object?

 Deanna Fleysher:BUTT KAPINSKI comes from me; it is me without my disguise. Butt's demand to be in the world is what inspired the production.
Why bring your work to Edinburgh?I directed/co-wrote a show called RED BASTARD which went over really well in Edinburgh 2013-4. I was happy about that and thought that possibly this newer show would be fun to bring there too. I go for the same reasons everyone goes: to share my work with others, to meet and be inspired by other artists, and to challenge myself to find kale in Scotland.
What can the audience expect to see and feel - or even think - of your production?The most exciting thing about my show is the audience: what comes out of the person sitting right next to you that you would never expect. That's what I hope you leave the theatre talking about: "Did you see when that guy did THAT thing?" I love having a solo show that actually stars the audience. And I love doing an "interactive" show for people who hate "interaction." There is a way to do it: a gentle way, a fun, get-in-on-THIS way. That's the way I like.

How would you explain the relevance - or otherwise - of dramaturgy within your work?Developing work is for me a delicious flip-flop of dramaturgy table sessions involving cappuccino, and on-the-feet improv discovery sessions in front of outside eyes. We map out our goals and dreams in coffee, and then we get into the studio with water and see what we find. And then we go back to the coffee, and then the water, and so forth. 

What particular traditions and influences would you acknowledge on your work - have any particular artists, or genres inspired you and do you see yourself within their tradition?
I'm really inspired by cabaret and variety: shows that celebrate the spontaneous community created anew at every performance. No fourth wall, a fun night out, an event. The delightful challenge is how to find new ways to create that vibe.

Do you have a particular process of making that you could describe - where it begins, how you develop it, and whether there is any collaboration in the process?
The germ of performance is always from something very very personal and deep in the bowels. It's got to come from way down there or else it's no good. Then we bring in an outside eye, someone to parent the process a bit. We videotape rehearsals. We bring in friends to watch and respond. We put up 5 minutes someplace, see what works, then we put up 10 minutes. It goes like that.

What do you feel the role of the audience is, in terms of making the meaning of your work?
The audience is the meaning of the work, it's the only reason for the work. That and bowels.

Are there any questions that you feel I have missed out that would help me to understand how dramaturgy works for you?
As a director, I think a lot about the arc of a show-- I like your really simple definition of dramaturgy as decisions made to facilitate performance. The director is the decision maker. And then the performer has a good poop about it, and we see what works. You've really got me thinking about excretory functions, all of a sudden. Hey, thanks for that.

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