Lanie Zipoy is part of the behind-the-scenes New York Madness team. She joined this wild and woolly adventure during its second event — with Guest Artistic Producing Playwright Crystal Skillman — in February. She is known as the Consulting Producer, but you’ve probably seen her at the door handing out programs or taking photos of the events.
Events such as Madness require a team to support the playwrights and their work. That’s just what Lanie does. We caught up with her and found out what’s great about Madness and what’s on her producing docket as well.
1) What does theater mean to you?
Theater is one of the most beautiful words in the world. It means community — sharing, building, supporting, developing, creating, enjoying, laughing, crying, exchanging ideas, challenging and being amazed. I love that it can happen anywhere in the world — on a street corner, on a large Broadway stage, in a backyard, a storefront or a tiny space.
2) What have you learned from participating in Madness?
New York Madness reinforces that playwrights are some of my favorite people in the world because they are generous and forward thinkers too. I think of New York as an artistic version of the tech world — where wild ideas are hashed out regularly on the stage. New York Madness proves that with passion and desire anything can happen. Within 7 days, a group of people — many whom don’t know one another the week before — come together, put on a show, and have a great time. It is theater at its raw best.
3) What’s next for you?
Two things are in the forefront of my mind: 23 Feet in 12 Minutes, an award-winning documentary solo show about Hurricane Katrina, returns to New York for two performances November 12th and 15th as part of the All for One Theater Festival. I had the great pleasure to produce the show for four performances in New Orleans this spring, and am excited to be a part of it in my current hometown. I am very impressed by the talent of the two artists — Mari Brown (playwright) and Deanna Pacelli (performer) — involved with the show.
My second project is currently accepting applications for a playwriting residency in a Kentucky prison. You read that right. We’re looking for a playwright to teach master classes for eight days at Northpoint Training Center, a medium security prison near Danville, Kentucky in July 2012. It’s a life-changing project. Check it out at www.northpointplays.com. Applications are due by November 19, 2011.