BWW Interview: Director Bobby Moresco Talks WORKING 2017
Bobby Moresco is an Academy Award-winning writer, director and producer, hailing from Hell's Kitchen, New York. In 2007, Moresco received an Oscar for co-writing the feature film "CRASH". Other features include, Academy Award-winner "MILLION DOLLAR BABY" and "10TH & WOLF", starring James Marsden, which was his directorial debut. Moresco's TV credits include "EZ Streets", "Falcone", and "The Black Donnellys". He is currently producing WORKING at the Whitefire Theatre to play Thursdays October 12-November 9.
by Steve Peterson
What was the genesis of this project?
Like everybody else in the country in the last couple of years, I've been concerned about the disappearing middle class. In my opinion, it's the heart and soul of who we are, what we are, the ability for a mother or father to work hard and in return receive some sort of economic stability in their lives. Some sort of security by virtue of the work put forth.
What inspired you to continue exploring workers' lives in 2017?
I felt some responsibility to speak to it. The idea of marrying what Studs Terkel did in the original "Working" and what Camus explored in The Myth Of Sisyphus, the idea that work is the essential question in one's life. And it will either destroy you, or be your salvation. That's intriguing in a very contemporary way for me. Camus suggests that one must imagine Sisyphus happy. It seems essential.
There was a musical based on Terkel's book that ran for about a about month on Broadway? Did you see it or have knowledge of it; and was there anything different you were wanting to achieve with a new piece inspired by his work?
Yes I did see it. And of course I read Terkel's book. The new inspiration came simply from trying to marry Terkel's ideas with Camus'.
How did you go about developing the concept in workshop?
I brought the idea into the Actor's Gym Saturday afternoon sessions, presented it to the writers and actors in the group, and asked them to consider writing a character study that might explore the ideas outlined above. I gave them a structure to work with. And they went to work. It was about a two-year journey where everyone continued to put forth ideas, dialogue, characters, and then a reworking, until we wound up with what is now the play.
Tell us a bit about the play.
It's everything we speak about above. Eleven characters commune with the audience and share their story of the expectation of who and what they are and how the idea and hope of work impact their lives.
What do you want the audience to take away or feel from having seen WORKING 2017?
I'm hoping they'll be emotionally involved with the lives of the people on the stage and they take away whatever they take away from it. It's not about a message. It's about the human condition, as the writers and actors performing these pieces, see that condition.
What's up next for you in regards to directing, writing and producing?
There's a play I'm attached to direct by one of the Actor's Gym members, William Hoffman. I'm tremendously excited about directing that. I have a new movie called BENT that I've written and directed starring Sofia Vergara, Andy Garcia and Karl Urban, as well as about a dozen members of the Actor's Gym. And I'm working on a couple of new television shows, one with legendary director William Friedkin, and one with legendary comedian Colin Quinn.
Is there anything else you care to mention that we didn't ask you?
Yes, I wish you had asked more about Bryan Rasmussen and the Whitefire Theater, and Bryan's commitment to new and vital works. Without people like Bryan and the Whitefire, there would be no place to put up new pieces of theater. We'd be back on the street corner, which isn't so bad, but a theater is better J
Also, I wish you had asked about the collaborative work of the crew. Not just the artists. The crew has been amazing, starting with my partner / live stream director Larry McLean, and our lighting crew Derek McDaniel and David Svengalis. And of course my stage manager David Branson.
WORKING 2017 run Thursdays at 8:00 pm. October 5 - November 9. Appropriate for ages 18+. Tickets: $25. For tickets and information: go to working2017.brownpapertickets.com or call 800 838-3006. Whitefire Theatre, 13500 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks.