BWW Interview: Alex Trow in F THEORY Now Onstage at NJ Rep
New Jersey Repertory Company (NJ Rep) is presenting the world premiere of F Theory, a funny, poignant, and uniquely thought-provoking play about the power and complexity of lifelong friendship. The show is on the Long Branch Stage through September 24. Directed by Ethan Heard, the play is co-written by, and stars Megan Loughran and Alex Trow. Broadwayworld.com enjoyed the opportunity to interview Alex Trow about her career and F Theory.
Alex Trow is a New York-based actor and writer. Her New York performance credits include London Wall (Mint Theater), Flamingo (Sanguine Theater Co.), Straight (u/s, Acorn Theater Off-Broadway), and Scarlett Fever (NY Fringe Fest). Regional credits include: I Now Pronounce (Humana Festival @ Actor's Theatre of Louisville), Mad Love (Northern Stage, world premiere; NJ Rep), Owners (Yale Rep), and Othello (Shakespeare Santa Cruz). TV/Web: "Blue Bloods," "Twenty Five," "Cooking for One with the Crying Chef" (Best Actress Award, ITV Fest), "Inappropriate Jane Austen" (NYTVFest Women in Film Award). Alex received a BA and an MFA from Yale University.
Tell us when you first became enamored with the performing arts.
My parents took my brother and me to see a lot of theater when we were growing up - I saw my first play when I was five, and when an actor direct-addressed me from stage during the third act, I thought: oh wow, I guess that's what I want to do.
Are there theatre artists that you personally admire?
So many! I really love smart theater, and strange theater, and funny theater, but mostly any theater that I find myself thinking or talking about for a while after I've seen it. Cost of Living by Martyna Majok, The Wolves by Sarah DeLappe, and The Rape of the Sabine Women by Grace B. Matthias by Michael Yates Crowley are just a few new plays I saw relatively recently that made me think or smile or both for days after I saw them.
F Theory is an intriguing and intimate portrayal of friendship. Are some of the elements of the story based on your own experiences?
While the circumstances of the play are imagined, many of the small pieces that create larger conversations or moments in the play absolutely come from real discussions or real events my co-playwright Meg Loughran or I experienced. It's a cliche to say playwrights are accidental and intentional scavengers, but I think it's true: anything we hear or see could end up on stage, slightly rearranged and re-contextualized, but basically in tact.
What are some of the challenges of performing a piece that you have written?
I think a good rehearsal process is about discovery, and when you are both the writer and the actor, when something isn't working, it can be hard to determine if it's your fault as the writer or as the actor; we were very fortunate to have wonderful director (and friend) Ethan Heard there to help us manage, organize, and monitor the difficult task of wearing two hats at once.
How do you like working at NJ Rep?
NJ Rep deserves all the credit in the world for putting such faith in and so many resources towards developing new plays. It's a risky endeavor that too few companies feel comfortable taking on, and for writers looking to really see their plays come to life via a full production, NJ Rep is an unbelievable gift. Also, as a special bonus, turns out it's not so bad to live and work near the Jersey Shore for a summer: perfect beach at sunset, show an hour later... not many theaters have that going for them!
To learn more about Alex Trow, visit her web site at: www.alextrow.com.
Read our recent interview with Megan Loughran who co-wrote F Theory with Alex Trow and also stars with her in the two-hander. /new-jersey/article/BWW-Interview-Megan-Loughran-and-F-THEORY-at-NJ-Rep-817-to-924-20170808/.
Read our recent review of F Theory at NJ Repertory Company. /new-jersey/article/BWW-Review-F-THEORY-at-NJ-Rep-Shines-Bright-with-Humor-and-Heart-20170822.
Photo credit: Susan Shacter