Interview with Jacob Marx Rice

Jacob Marx Rice is the writer of The Tragical Historie of Maximilien Robespierre

What are you most excited about in bringing your work to the FGP Festival?

There are very few places where a genderqueered history play that’s half tragedy, half carnival would be considered one of the more traditional plays in the lineup. The plays in the festival are so brilliant and wild and joyous. Plus, the FGP staff have been infinitely supportive as everybody crafts their astonishing theatrical worlds. Being a part of this festival has pushed me to go further and embrace the energy that makes my story unique.

Send us an image that describes or represents your artistic process (bonus points for a gif)

Who are some of your art heroes?

Tony Kushner, Lee Krasner, Halsey, Mozart, Amy Sherman-Palladino, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Helen McDonald, Rembrandt, Lisa Kron. I basically love artists who bite off way more than they could ever chew and then spray bits of partially digested food all over their art. Also, magicians.

What is a highlight of your process with FGP this past year?

We did a reading of the whole draft in this tiny room last month. The cast was so big it took up the entire room. Between them and the people watching, we had like 30 people huddled together in a hundred and fifty square feet yelling about baguettes and guillotines. It was such a strange experience because, that’s basically what the French Revolution was: a bunch of poor twenty-somethings stuffed in a room dreaming about what the world could be. The means of production accidentally mimicked the subject of the play, and you could feel the energy that must have rippled through those early revolutionary meetings.

Oh no, your process is showing! What's your artistic process guilty pleasure? Or what's the thing you do that you don't want to tell us?

I’m obsessed with “bad” art. Things like the movie Hitch, the TV show Arrow, even “showtime” dancers (especially the ones in central park.) I usually over-analyze them and incorporating elements into my work. It feels really weird to be like “I got this idea from William Shakespeare and then smashed it into this idea from Gilmore Girls.” Plus, honestly, I think sometimes the stuff I steel from Gilmore Girls works better…

What other events in the FGP Festival are you really excited about?

All of them! I’m obsessed with the writers in PlayGround and their wild plays. I’m especially pumped about Eric Farber’s interactive musical parade about physics, technology and the future and also about Nate Weida and Ben Holbrook’s interactive musical church service about physics, technology and the future (apparently, I have a very specific type.)

Come see The Tragical Historie of Maximilien Robespierre on Wednesday April 18th at 7pm


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