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Interview: Mead Winters of GOD OF CARNAGE at Nutley Little Theatre

Interview: Mead Winters of GOD OF CARNAGE at Nutley Little Theatre

Interview: Mead Winters of GOD OF CARNAGE at Nutley Little Theatre

Nutley Little Theatre presents GOD OF CARNAGE by Yasmina Reza, translated by Christopher Hampton and directed by Mead Winters.

In the 2009 Tony Award winning play, GOD OF CARNAGE, a playground altercation between eleven-year old boys brings together two sets of Brooklyn parents for a meeting to resolve the matter. At first, diplomatic niceties are observed, but as the meeting progresses, and the rum flows, tensions emerge and the gloves come off, leaving the couples with more than just their liberal principles in tatters.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Director Mead Winters.

A resident of Nutley, New Jersey for the past 29 years and a recently retired Bilingual teacher from the Passaic School System after 30 years, I have always enjoyed the performing arts. Now that I am officially retired, I have been begun my "unofficial career" in theatre. I have been active in the theatre for the past year. I started out by acting in PERFECT ARRANGEMENT, then went on to direct GEMINI this past June. The fall brought forth another directing gig where I directed a one act play for Apricot Sky Productions in Montclair and now, I am fully engrossed with this amazing piece of work, GOD OF CARNAGE.

In my "other" spare time, I am president of my bowling league and I love to travel abroad and cruise to various destinations.

I graduated from Drew University in 1984 with a double major in Spanish Language and Culture and Theater Arts.

I would like to thank my husband, Mike for all his support, energy, and love in helping make my retirement in the theatre world so much more special.

We'd like to know about your love of theatre.

My love for the theater never left me since graduating college. As a teacher of elementary school students, I was director of the school musicals for 10 years. Along the way, I acted in an off-Broadway production of AS IS, appeared on the now defunct soap opera ANOTHER WORLD in 1989, and acted in several other small theater companies' productions. It wasn't until the itch came back to me recently when I was asked to direct a Murder Dinner Theatre production of, I'M GETTING MURDERED IN THE MORNING which was produced and presented in the Franklin Steakhouse of Nutley. Since then, I have acted in and directed productions at OLT and NLT and Apricot Sky Productions.

My love for theatre was always present throughout my 30-year tenure as a teacher. In a sense, teachers need to perform each day in front of their students, and like in live theatre, no performance is ever the exact same as you never know how people around you can change your "performance."

What inspired you to direct this piece?

My inspiration to direct GOD OF CARNAGE came when, after perusing various scripts for my submission as director for NLT, I realized there was so much going on in this play that is relevant to today's recent changes in how we live.

I have always enjoyed studying people's actions and behaviors. And in doing so, I love to analyze characters' motives. GOD OF CARNAGE presents 4 individuals who come with so much baggage into a situation. When you look at their interactions with each other and the causes and effects that make them act the way they do, you can pull apart the psychological aspects and relate them to so much of what we experience in today's world.

Children, marriage, alcohol, irritations, communication, love, envy, spite, and secrets - can rip us all apart solely because so much that we can't control in these areas end up controlling us and making us act in ways that destroy us internally. What a great script and piece of art this is for someone who has always been observant to others' motives and actions.

What do you want audiences to take away from this show?

What I would like the audience to take away from GOD OF CARNAGE is the following:

"We can't control the things that control us." To start off, the title GOD OF CARNAGE is a pretty intense title. What we get before the first words are spoken in the play is: buckle your seatbelt. What is carnage? One definition is that carnage is the violent slaughter of a large number of people (or that it is the flesh of slain animals or humans). This is a serious title and I hope that this show helps audience members take away something that makes them think about their own lives. Is God of Carnage about couples arguing? Is it about two children's altercation? Is it about human nature? When we peel back the layers of our own surfaces in ourselves, we all find a bit of Michael and Veronica and Alan and Annette within. The problems and emotions we harbor can be ripped open by the simplest release of a secret or other animal instinct we may be guarding or hiding. Human interaction is a necessary part of our lives; however, when we can't control outside influences such as our children's actions or even trivial conversations and shared ideas, it can open up a Pandora's box, which sometimes is hard to get back in and therefore can shift our lives in directions we never thought possible. With human nature, we sometimes release our animal instincts to react in ways we never thought imaginable. So, how do we control them? We can't always control the things that control us!

Upcoming Events

With an end in sight to my current production, I plan to enjoy the holidays by travelling. When I return, I will be commencing my next project. Old Library Theatre in Fair Lawn, NJ has tapped into my directing abilities and has asked me to direct a one - act for their One Act Festival in January, 2023.

Surprise! The script I chose has to do with another couple who, with emotional complications, make for a great once act!

I want to thank Nutley Little Theatre for taking a chance on me to direct two incredible productions. My first show I directed; GEMINI has been nominated for 3 awards in the Broadway World Awards for 2022 - Best Director for a Play, Best Scenic design, and my actress Heather Cozine was nominated for Best Supporting Performer in a Play.


The cast includes:


Michael Novak - JAMES PARENT



The crew includes, Director Mead Winters, Stage Manager Erin Sabat, Production Assistant L.A. Mars, Mike Dancho and Jim Brown.

Performances are December 9th, 10th, 15th, 16h, 17th at 8:00 PM and December 10th, 11th, and 17th at 2:00 PM.

Tickets are available at the door, a half hour before show time, but can also be purchased online at ShowTix4U - Free Online Ticketing - Schools, Community, Regional

Nutley Little Theatre is located at 47 Erie Place in Nutley New Jersey.

This show is not suitable for children.

For more information, please visit or follow them on Facebook: @NutleyLittleTheatre and Instagram: @NutleyLittleTheatreNJ

Photo credit: Mead Winters

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