Warren C. Bowles has more than 40 years of experience as an actor, director, choreographer, and playwright at theaters across the country. He previously directed Jericho and Photograph 51 at MJTC and has joined us once more as director of The Tale of the Allergist's Wife.
I know you recently finished a run at Park Square Theatre in My Children! My Africa! What challenges do you confront when “changing hats” from actor to director?
The sports analogy works here. It's like moving from player to coach. You must still do very detailed work in both cases but the breadth of your responsibilities is much wider as director.
Allergist’s Wife has a lot going on. What should people know about this show?
Firstly, if audience members saw or are aware of Charles Busch's original play written in 1999, be aware that Mr. Busch rewrote and updated that piece which gives us this current version. Secondly, if audience members are familiar with Mr. Busch's past work and aesthetic, i.e. Vampire Lesbians of Sodom and his camp style, don't come in with those expectations. Prompted by a generous offer from Lynn Meadow at the Manhattan Theatre Club he explores here a new, for him, direction in theatre.
So you don't see much of Busch's drag/campy aesthetic in your vision for the production or for Marjorie?
I certainly see no need to impose it and I think it would be an imposition.
What do you think is particularly Jewish about Allergist’s Wife and/or particularly universal?
Mr. Busch said that his vision for this tale comes from the fact that he was raised in a matriarchal family of intelligent, verbal, and funny women. Those are his roots, and, we cannot deny or not be influenced by our roots. That is essential to this play being universal. For this particular family, their Jewish roots are a big part of who they are now, what subsequent generations will be. That is what makes it particularly Jewish.
Is this Tale a cautionary tale or a fairy tale?
Great question. When the play opens be sure you ask audience members on their way out of the theatre.