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Lola Pierson talks about telling stories and learning to talk
Experimental theater has a reputation for being unfriendly, if not downright hostile, toward the audience, but Baltimore's Lola Pierson has been trying to turn that characterization on its head. Ever since she founded the Ten Minute Play Festival as a Towson theater graduate student, Pierson has been filling smaller theaters and breaking down artistic boundaries with musical talents like Alex Scally (Beach House), Jenn Wasner (Wye Oak), and Walker Teret (Celebration) as collaborators. It may be because of her background: Pierson grew up in Baltimore (graduating from Baltimore School for the Arts), and, despite ventures outside the city, she's remained a part of Baltimore's expanding and amorphous arts community. She has written seven plays, including Office Ladies (for which she won CP's "Best New Playwright" in 2013), The Title Sounded Better in French, and The Prettiest Place on Earth. But she is also capable of producing startlingly original productions of works by the masters of modernist theater. With cofounder of Acme Corporation Stephen Nunns, she may have caused Samuel Beckett to roll over in his grave by producing Play, his minimalist deconstruction of the theater, as a maximalist 24-hour come-and-leave-as-you-wish marathon (CP's 2013 "Best Production"). Now, with Acme Corporation, she's going to recreate German playwright Peter Handke's 1967 minimalist Kaspar as . . . well, maybe she can explain it better.
May 28, 2014