Whales & Souls: An Adult Fable, as part of the 2016 New York International Fringe Festival
An Interview with Andrew Kramer

Indie Theater Now asked Andrew Kramer a few questions about his play Whales & Souls.

Who are your favorite playwrights?

I HAVE SO MANY FAVORITES. Seriously; there are so many brilliant minds writing brilliant plays. My absolute favorite living playwright is Naomi Wallace - without question. Her work is unlike any other work out there. Muscular and tender and lovely and complex and messy and so so good. My "favorite playwrights" list continues though with: Adrienne Kennedy, Tony Kushner, Euripides, Nate Eppler, Dean Poynor, Tori Keenan-Zelt, Jordan Harrison, Mike Bartlett, A-lan Holt, Erin Courtney, J. Julian Christopher, Jennifer Blackmer, Harrison David Rivers, Boo Killebrew, Susan Soon He Stanton, Philip Ridley, Joshua Conkel, Riti Sachdeva, Ike Holter, Phillip Dawkins, Steve Yockey.

What's your favorite pastime when you’re not working on a play?

I'm a nature guy; part mermaid, part hawk...so I love the ocean and the mountains. I have a little saltwater aquarium in my office - a 6gallon coral reef and it lowers my blood-pressure and I'm sorta obsessed with it.

Where does this play take place, and how did you choose that location?

According to the script, "Whales & Souls: An Adult Fable" takes place in: "an abandoned hillside village in the middle of the country" and I wanted it to feel sort of anywhere; sort of timeless. Because it's called a fable for adults, the play explores a lot of traditional fairy-tale imagery and tropes (the witch, the stern patriarch, the creature...etc) but explodes them with queerness and spookiness, and lore, and performance and identity and story-telling and gender and sexuality.

When did you know you wanted to work in the theater, and why?

My freshman year of college. I was SO BORED reading and being in plays. I wanted to write my own. And so I started to.

Why did you want to write this show?

See above: I usually find solo shows REALLY boring and difficult to sit through. But then I saw an incredible one (like seriously: earth-shattering) called CUT TO PIECES at Cleveland Public Theatre (created by Chris Seibert and Raymond Bobgan) and it changed my world. I started thinking about the form and the possibilities and wanted to try my hand. At the same time, the catastrophic BP Oil Spill was happening and changing the earth and I recently moved to NYC and I was exploring my own queerness and it all sort of started coming together in a weird sorta way.

posted July 31, 2016