Where do you look for inspiration?
I am inspired by everything around us. As an artist (visual as well as theatre), I believe in merging disciplines to create exciting new works. The work that inspires me is a fusion of art forms ranging from the language of a play or poem to the visual and stylized physical elements we create in collaboration. I am stimulated by vision and transformation, the unknown, the unexpected. Ideas abound, and art emerges. As a woman of mixed cultures, I have always been drawn to the stories and perceptions of others. I seek out new voices and worlds to bring to the stage, and aim to challenge the audience and the artists involved. I founded MultiStages as a means to explore this work.
What play or production changed your life?
I was introduced to theatre, music and literature through my family: my grandmother was a performer, mother is a poet, and my father is a music conductor. As a child, I was onstage in various operas. I watched my father conduct Bernstein’s MASS at the Kennedy Center, and Candide with Madeline Kahn; both productions changed my life. There have been many straight plays that have inspired me. One that stands out is Athol Fugard’s Sizwe Bansi Is Dead, which I saw in London as a girl. I found Margaret Edson’s W;t (WIT) riveting with the amazing Kathleen Chalfant, who I was fortunate to direct a few years ago for the LPTW New Play Festival. Both these plays brought nudity onto the stage that was human and visceral. Angels in America also made a huge impact on me, as did Jane Wagner’s Search for Intelligent Signs of Life… with Lily Tomlin, and led me to create my own one-woman show, Women Under Glass.
What is your best escape?
The NY Times crossword puzzles.
Lorca Peress is Co-President of LPTW and MultiStages Founder/Artistic Director, where she has developed multicultural and multidisciplinary new works since 1997. Awards: La MaMa Inky, MCAF (LMCC DOCA), Dramatists Guild Fund, et al. Bennington College and NTI graduate; Teacher at NYU Strasberg Studio and Strasberg Institute. AFTRA, SAG, AEA, SDC. www.eljallartsannex.com/multistages.htm