BWW Interview: Bryan Fox Directs MALICIOUS BUNNY
Director Bryan Fox is an award-winning writer, director, and actor, as well as notable photographer whose work has been displayed in gallery shows around the world. Most recently, his photography was shown at the prestigious Art Basel in Miami. Bryan began directing with his short film "Dissonance" which screened throughout the U.S. and opened film festivals in Canada, Italy, Germany, and India. It won over 20 awards including Best Short Film at the Accolade Global Film Competition, Indie Fest Awards, LA Spotlight Film Festival, Waterfront Film Festival, Dada Saheb Phalke Film Festival and the Temecula Film Festival. He also wrote and directed the film "We Alone" which took top prize for music video at the Accolade Global Film Festival. Bryan most recently directed an upcoming episode of the web series "Gossip Boy."
Written by Steve Peterson
When did your first get interested in or involved in theatre?
My experience in theater has been limited to the acting side only. However, after directing in other mediums, I was eager to take on a challenge like this.
How did you get involved in directing plays?
Markus Taylor, who is the producer of Malicious Bunny and also our lead actor, found the material and was immediately passionate about seeing this project come to fruition. He brought the material to me. As my first try at directing a play, I wanted to be on board with not only great material, but with others that were invested completely in the project with their hearts and souls.
How did your directing Malicious Bunny come about? What, in particular, drew you to this project?
I had just come off of more than a year doing the film festival circuit with my short film "Dissonance" as well as mounting two photography gallery shows. I was looking for the next challenge. My photography work is dark and sexy, and Markus felt that I had the sensibilities to take the play in a direction to make it as compelling as possible. That said, the play is also incredibly funny thanks to the playwright, Matthew Sprosty. So the challenge in the rehearsal process is balancing that comedy with what is deeply rooted, very deep pain.
Tell us a bit about the play.
MALICIOUS BUNNY is a dark comedy centered on the character of Jonathon, and his struggle to please his wife and keep his marriage intact. When his wife Angela brings up the fact that she wants a divorce because she feels stifled in their two year marriage - - Jonathon asks what he can do to make her happy with him. Angela shocks Jonathon when she asks him to kill her well to do parents - - which will make the young couple millionaires and keep her from divorcing him. What if the only way to keep his wife is to kill for her - - what will he do?
What has been your big biggest challenge in directing this play?
Really the greatest challenge has been logistical, finding the time and the scheduling - - there are not enough hours in a day, week, or month! The cast and crew have offered their time and talents so generously. We all knew from the beginning that this is not the kind of material that you can take lightly. It's very hard. But if executed correctly, it can be something really special and amazing!
What do you want the audience take away to be - - what would like an audience member to feel or be thinking about when they leave the theatre?
I think the audience will remember laughing really hard, but also have some serious discussions in the car. Without giving away too much, there are issues of abuse, betrayal, greed, and righteousness. I want them to question how far they would go if they were given circumstances similar to those dealt to the characters in Malicious Bunny.
As an award-winning photographer, what skills or sensibilities do you bring from that world to the theatre world and how does that affect your directing?
To be a good photographer you have to have a good eye which means you have to be aware of every single component just in the frame just like you do with the 3 dimensional format of stage work, from the wardrobe, to how the actors look, where they are on stage at any particular time, to the set design and execution to how the lighting affects the scene. All these elements elicit feelings, consciously and subconsciously. In these, photography and theatre are very much the same. At the end of the day, I am a story-teller using a different medium this time around. Where a photo tells a story with one single image and a single moment, on stage I get to use multiple sources of stimulation happening over the entirety of the play to achieve the story's goals.
What's up next for you?
I have a photography book coming out soon. . I am also in talks to direct some films. I have two film projects that I've written which I'm very excited about. One has a star attached (but that is a secret for now) and the other is nearly ready to shop around. I would also be interested in doing theatre again.
The world premiere of Matthew A. Sprosty's edgy dark comedy MALICIOUS BUNNY directed by Bryan Fox runs March 17 - April 9. Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 pm. Sundays at 7:00 pm. Mature content/language. Some violence. Ages 18+. Tickets are $30.
Buy Tickets: http://www.maliciousbunny.com/ticketing. Guest production at The Actors Company Let Live Theater, 916 North Formosa Ave., Los Angeles 90046.