Question: What is it like to develop a new musical at MTF?
Celine Rosenthal: MTF does a great job of providing this little cocoon where you can really throw stuff against the wall and see if it sticks. I think it’s invaluable to have that phase in the life of a show. It lets you experiment without preemptively worrying about the result.
Q: What inspired you to want to work on this new musical in particular?
CR: The story really resonated with me; especially two best friends messing around in their garage, staying up till all hours of the night trying to create something that would change the world… I think every theater-maker can connect to that.
Q: How does technology factor into THE CRAZY ONES? Has it made you reevaluate your relationship to Apple products?
CR: The action of the piece centers around the process of developing new technology, but I would say it’s really more a story about personal relationships, the politics of business, and how the pressures of that business affects the people making the industry run. And yes; working on this show has definitely changed the way I relate to my Apple products. I have so much more respect for the amount of work and artistry that went into their creation.
Q: What is it like to work with the actors (and the writers) to create portrayals of real people such as Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, etc?
CR: It’s a fun challenge. There’s a fine balance to be struck; the characters are indeed based on actual people, and the play on actual events– but the play takes us to private moments in the characters’ lives where we have little to no factual information, and the writer’s imagination must take over. In developing the portrayal of these characters, we must allow ourselves to participate in conjecture.
Q: There has been a lot of discussion about women in theater, especially in the wake of FUN HOME’s historic Tony wins. What has your experience been like as a female director?
CR: I’m so grateful to the women who have come before me in this profession, women who have been my role-models and champions. I’m very conscious that I’m reaping the benefits of their struggles, and I can only hope that I’m contributing to the community in a positive way, and taking steps forward for the female directors who will come after me.