Book and Lyrics by Dana Yeaton
Music by Andy Mitton
"So there I am, a lapsed Catholic at a Baptist revival meeting, and all of sudden, I'm on my feet, hands in the air, accepting Jesus as my personal savior...until a few days later when someone sat me down and explained, 'Of course you'll have to cut your hair and get rid of that jewelry.' So that ended my Baptist period."
That's not a line from Swing State; that's what our sound designer, David Margolin Lawson, said in rehearsal yesterday. It was his first time in the room, but the way our director, Igor Goldin, runs a rehearsal, it wasn't at all weird to hear someone sharing a personal experience about religion, or homophobia, or the wonderful messed up extended families we all seem to have. I've never had a director so committed to tunneling down, fracking the characters, until we see the intersections between their lives and ours.
I guess I'd fallen for the old stereotype that New Yorkers, especially in theatre, didn't think much about faith, except to rail against the ugly, organized perversions of it. But our atheist director thinks about his faith. And it turns out Morgan Weed – our not-Born Again actor playing a Born Again Christian – gets the loveliest notes from her boyfriend's mother, most of which end with a piece of scripture. (Today's was: "Oil and perfume rejoice the heart; so does the sweetness of a friend's counsel that comes from the heart." (Proverbs 27:9)
And of course, you can't vote or have a political opinion in America right now without getting sucked into the vortex of where you stand on God. Which I really HATE – but I'm pretty sure it makes good theatre. And I know it makes for an interesting rehearsal process...
To buy tickets or to learn more about Swing State go to www.nymf.org/swingstate or call 212-352-3101