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Broadway Bullet: Alex Timbers of Dixie's Tupperware Party

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We talk to Alex Timbers director of "Dixie's Tupperware Party" currently playing at Ars Nova.

We think it's best to let the PR people from Ars Nova describe this show, so here's their description: You've never seen a Tupperware party like this one, hosted by Miss Dixie Longate!

Fast-talking Dixie Longate throws a good ol'fashioned Tupperware Party filled with outrageous tales, free giveaways, and the most fabulous assortment of Tupperware, all of which will be on sale after the show!

See for yourself why Miss Longate became the top Tupperware saleslady in the country within her first year of selling, and be amazed as she reveals the many alternative uses she has discovered for her plastic products!

Alex Timbers is co-founder and Artistic Director of Les Freres Corbusier. To find out more about them click here .

"Dixie's Tupperware Party" is playing at Ars Nova through June 17th. For more info and tickets click here.

 

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You can listen to this interview and many other great features for free on Broadway Bullet vol. 113. Subscribe for free so you don't miss an episode.

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Broadway Bullet Interview: Alex Timbers of DIxie's Tupperware Party

Broadway Bullet: Sitting with us we have an up and coming director on the New York City scene; a lot has happened this year, he's got a new show at Ars Nova Dixie's Tupperware Party, and he just recently received a Drama Desk nomination for directing one of our favorites here at Broadway Bullet Gutenberg! The Musical!.  Here's Alex Timbers. How are you doing?

ALEX TIMBERS: Good, how are you doing?

BB: I guess we'll start off with the recent news really quickly, what's it like being nominated for a Drama Desk?

ALEX: Oh it's exciting, what's ridiculous are the other people who are nominated like Hal Prince and Michael Mayer and people like that, and to be alongside those people is somewhat preposterous. 

BB: And what, are you sixteen?  You have a very young face. 

ALEX: Thank you, twenty eight I'm twenty eight.

BB: But still, directing can definitely be an old person's game.

ALEX: I think you have to have gray hair to direct, absolutely.

BB: Or it makes you go gray.  A couple of more shows and you'll be there. 

ALEX: Thanks.  I'm working on the punch right now.

BB: So tell us a little bit about your new show, Dixie's Tupperware Party.

ALEX: Absolutely.  Dixie Longate is the number one selling Tupperware salesman in America, and she's also a drag queen – the persona of Chris Anderson.  So this show is basically her home party with sort of a design around it, a sort of theatrical version of the thing she actually goes on cruise ships and does and does in sort of middle aged housewives homes.  And we have graphed a sort of a journey, an arc to it, a sort of emotional center and really turned Ars Nova really into a giant Tupperware party.  It's immersive, interactive, entertainment.

BB: Now how did you stumble across this show?

ALEX: I was contacted by Ars Nova, I've actually worked a lot with drag queens.  I directed a show up at P Town last summer, and I really enjoyed that work, and Chris is by far one of the best.  He is very funny, very in control of what he does and knowing his audience very well, and knowing his character well, and so he's been really excited about the opportunity to really take it to the next level. 

BB: So are the costumes a little more than hats?

ALEX: Yes, it's a whole costume this time.

BB: So, in general, how do you find, do they just come to you or, how are you going about looking for these newer works, at least these two I know are from newer writers, newer works. 

ALEX: I've been lucky, in those situations, to be approached by people.  In both of those situations, also, there was a show that existed and where the producers found it necessary to sort of re-tool the production team to sort of take it to the next level.  So it's a little easier than working with a script from scratch than a production that has already had its readings and it's workshops, this is something that already works and is successful.  And it's about taking it to the next level of theatricality and the next level of storytelling and really making the humor crisper. 

BB: Are you from New York originally?

ALEX: Mmhmm.

BB: Oh cause you don't sound like a New Yorker, I was guessing a transplant.

ALEX: I'm a Manhattanite.

BB: Where did you study, or how did you go about breaking into directing here?

ALEX: You know, the first thing I did when I came to the city was I founded my own theater company.  A company called Les Freres Corbusier, and we have a specific mission which is to focus on historical figures and historical subject matter and we cast those things in irreverent context.  So we did a show about Scientology that was done like a Nativity pageant and all with children called A Very Merry Unauthorized Children's' Scientology Pageant; and we just did a Hedda Gabbler which focused on Ibsen and the "Well Made Play" and those sort of more intellectual principles, but we did it with robots, real robots.  And it was kind of funny and silly and it was called Heddatron.

BB: Making your own wave, forging your own opportunities.

ALEX: Absolutely, and that then opened up the door to working with other companies, like Ars Nova.

BB: And besides Dixie's Tupperware Party, I'm told you have a couple of other projects on the horizon as well. 

ALEX: Yeah, I'm doing a, developing a show with Bradford Lorick, actually a drag show although this one's not quite as funny it's more dramatic, up at Sundance this summer.  I'm working as a co-director with Roger Rees on a workshop for Disney at Williamstown.  And doing a show at the village theater called Escape from Belleview, which is a sort of rock and roll club show.  And then developing a work that I wrote with composer Michael Freidman called Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson, and that is an emo rock musical about the life of the seventh president, and that will premiere in L.A. in January, at Center Theater Groups, Kirk Douglass Theater. 

BB: So juggling a lot of things around at the time?

ALEX: Yeah, I'm excited about all of them though. 

BB: So are you drawn to smaller things like Gutenberg! is just two people, and Dixie's Tupperware Party is a one person show; do you like the kind of intimacy of working closely on those smaller projects?

ALEX: I think the things that I enjoy most about directing theater, or works that are really visceral in terms of comedy and have a sort of rock and roll aesthetic.  Dixie's Tupperware Party, weirdly, has assort of punchy rock cuing, very highly technical cuing video, sound, lots of underscore sort of aesthetic for the whole piece.  And it also trades in humor that very contemporary, it feels very ironic, dead pan, it has lots of comedic drops to it, and that's true of all the work I'm working on right now.  And I'm very excited about that as opposed to the drying room comedy.  Sort of less into plays and more into theatrical events and musicals.

BB: Now this run for Dixie's Tupperware Party, this is a pretty long run for Ars Nova isn't it?

ALEX: Yeah, it's a ten week run, it's one of their sort of, they just did this with At Least it's Pink, they were more technically involved and had their own set and light plot, when the other sort of one offs in the space work around. 

BB: Where do they go, how do they get tickets, all of that?  I know Ars Nova, but is there any other place to get tickets from?

ALEX: That's a really good question.  Ars Nova, or NYC.com and visiting smarttix.com would be your best options.

BB: And best of luck with all of your future endeavors Alex, it was nice getting a chance to talk to you.  And best of luck with your Drama Desk, take Hal Prince down.

ALEX: Thanks so much, I intend to. 

BB: Have a good day.

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You can listen to this interview and many other great features for free on Broadway Bullet vol. 113. Subscribe for free so you don't miss an episode.

 or MP3 Feed with XML

 


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