Meatloaf with String Beans

Part of the VisionFest3: Feast line-up this year is the hilarious post-apocalyptic short play Jinxed by K. Alexa Mavromatis. While you will have to come and see the show to see how the world looks after, well, the end, as well as learn some basic rules on the game of Jinx, we’ve got the answers to some probing questions from Alexa about the piece, pie and catching up with good friends…

1. What is your favorite meal?
You’re probably thinking my answer is meatloaf with string beans [because of the characters’ names in Jinxed], but I have to say the traditional Thanksgiving menu is some of my favorite food. I love to cook, but generally don’t have the time to prepare full, proper meals. (Who does?) On Thanksgiving, I usually don’t cook a whole turkey, but try to collaborate with someone who wants to cook the bird. I make all the sides, from scratch: corn bread stuffing, sweet potato casserole, green beans almondine, yeast rolls. I’m good at it. I also have a friend who is something of a pie savant, so now I’m learning that.

2. Which three people (real or not) would you most like to sit down with for a meal?
Well, Stephen Sondheim and Eminem come to mind. They’re both insanely smart and it would be interesting to listen in on their conversation, but then I’m not really sure who completes this group. Maybe my friend Ernie. He and I used to talk about this kind of thing all the time, although I have to say that with his involvement, this would quickly turn into a much bigger dinner – likely involving Virginia Woolf, Carla Bley, Shakespeare, Kafka, Lou Reed, and Blair Brown. Ernie died about twelve years ago, so this would give the two of us a chance to catch up a bit, too.

3. When was the last time you were together with your best friend? What did you do?
One of my best friends from high school came up to Providence with her family last year, and one day in particular was a very ‘New England’ kind of day. We visited a lighthouse, ate stuffies, paid a visit to the Del’s Lemonade truck – it was a good time.

4. What is your earliest theatrical memory?
Ridiculous family antics, or actual theatre? My grandmother’s kitchen was a family gathering place, and always a show. For actual theatre, it would have to be seeing productions of shows like The Wizard of Oz, Annie, and Peter Pan when I was a kid. One specific thing I remember is a production of The Spiral Staircase. There was an old lady character in it, but when I saw the actress up close after the show, she was probably 30 years old. She had latex all over her face and hands to create layers of wrinkles. That’s crazy, magical stuff when you’re, like, nine.

5. What inspired you to write this play?
Basically these two characters were the little devils on my shoulder cheering me on, urging me to put some bad – or at least weird – behavior onstage. I have a tendency to write way too much talk and not enough action sometimes, and writing Jinxed was a way to remind myself that theatre, in its most basic sense, is stuff happening onstage. I owe a lot to Meatloaf, because it was all just a writing exercise until she called ‘jinx’ on Stringbean. That’s when I know it could be a play… I also love actors. They’re amazing. I wanted to give them something to play that would allow them to really cut loose and have a good time.

K. ALEXA MAVROMATIS’s play THE BACK ROOM was the 2008 third place winner of the David Mark Cohen National Playwriting Award, presented by the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival and the Association for Theatre in Higher Education. She is also the author of several short plays including BASTARD (a finalist for the Actors Theatre of Louisville’s Heideman Award in 2008), BONE CHINA (produced internationally and included in the Smith & Kraus anthology 2006: The Best Ten-Minute Plays for Two Actors), and a new post-apocalyptic comedy, JINXED. Alexa is a member of the Dramatists Guild, Theatre Communications Group, and Rhombus Playwrights.

Check out Alexa’s short play JINXED at VisionFest3: Feast this weekend (only 3 performances remain!)… More info at www.livewirechicago.com/vision

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