Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Little White Dramaturgy: Sara Schaefer @ Edfringe 2017

Sara Schaefer’s debut stand up show ‘Little White Box’ will be at the Pleasance Courtyard – That for the month of August for tickets go to www.edfringe.com

What was the inspiration for this performance?

Little White Box was inspired by my exploration of my religious upbringing and how that has played into my feelings about Trump’s America. The nation is very polarized right now, and with social media, and the search for truth in the media, I feel like every American is having an existential crisis. As we should be! 

I’m very interested in how it’s possible that I read the same Bible that some of my fellow citizens did, but somehow managed to end up so ideologically opposed to each other.

Is performance still a good space for the public discussion of ideas? 

It’s a very interesting question right now in our political climate. Right now in the U.S., people are trying to shut down public performances they don’t agree with. They are literally disrupting performances of Shakespeare because they’ve been told by political pundits that the play is inciting violence. (When in fact, Julius Caesar clearly condemns violence.) 

It’s maddening and terrifying - and just further
underscores why public performance is as vital as ever. The noise on the internet seems to be destroying our ability to see the truth - but I think experiencing public performance can help salvage it.

How did you become interested in making performance?

I’ve been performing since I was a little kid. Yes, because I wanted attention in my large family. But also, because I loved every aspect of it. I would produce, write, and promote shows in my own house. 

I’d put up signs and sell tickets. My parents were very patient. It wasn’t until I was in middle school that I realized I was a funny person. I went on to major in Theatre and do sketch comedy in college, and afterwards decided to take the leap into pursuing comedy as a career.

Is there any particular approach to the making of the show?

I’ve been working extremely hard on this material. Sometimes, my process for developing new stand up is very go-with-the-flow. At other times, I hunker down, transcribe every set, tinker with every single word and obsess over it. I’m in the hunker down mode now, and I’m touring over a dozen cities in the U.S. leading up to the fest. 

Does the show fit with your usual productions?

Yes and no. It’s definitely pure stand up - as I’ve been doing for over a decade - but this show has more structure and is more ambitious than my previous act. 

What do you hope that the audience will experience?

I hope everyone will laugh, first and foremost! But I also hope they’ll leave feeling a little less depressed about what America is doing to the world. If there’s one of me, then you can trust there are millions of others, seeing the truth, listening, and fighting for a better future.

What strategies did you consider towards shaping this audience experience?

Well, I am concerned about how my act will play to a foreign audience. I’ve never performed in the U.K. before, so it will surely be an experiment. I’m trying not to overthink it- I know that if I just bring my best material and most authentic self to the performance, I can’t go wrong. 

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