InterVIEWS-day TUESday: Alex Bisker

Welcome to InterVIEWS-day TUESday (Say it out loud. It rhymes.)!  Each week, we’ll feature a different Araca Project participant answering questions on all the hard-hitting issues, like which Friends character they most resemble.

Full name: Alexandra Bisker (Alex or Biscuit are totally acceptable monikers though, and I respond to both equally.)

What is your involvement in Araca Project 2012?
I’m the Producer/Director of “The Man With America Skin” by Seth Moore.

Describe your show in one sentence. No semi-colons.
Somewhere in the midst of a wasted Americana, a paranoid artist and a lonely soldier convert a boarded up house into a camera obscura, watching the world through a bullet hole as they heal each other.

What is your favorite thing about your show? No spoilers.
The marriage of art and technology; It’s a show that can’t be done without some amazing technological work, yet it still speaks eloquently about the human condition. I love that one isn’t exclusive of the other.

What was the first show you worked on in any capacity?
Aside from a limited engagement as a piece of cheddar in the second grade nutrition play, the first real production I was involved with was a re-staging of Theatre de Complicite’s Mnemonic as part of Basement Arts. The piece was full of beautiful language and infinite layers, and I got hooked on the company’s work. The director I was assisting was amazing as well, and a lot of my own directing tendencies can be traced back to things I learned on that production.

What is your biggest show catastrophe, on stage or off?
Due to the fateful meeting of a too tall truck and a too short overpass, we may or may not have peeled the top of a U-Haul truck off can-opener style during a certain fateful MUSKET load out. Opps.

What are your top 3 theatre experiences (as an audience member or participant)?

  1. Vollmond, Pina Bausch: This is technically dance, but it was such a moving theatrical experience that I can’t leave it out. Vollmond played with and stretched the form in a whole new way for me, incorporating speech and humor in surprising ways and morphing seamlessly from sorrow to joy. That and the multitude of ways the company used the singular, spectacular set piece left me breathless.
  2. A Disappearing Number, Theatre de Complicite: As I said, Mnemonic had me hooked. When Complicite came to Michigan, I couldn’t wait to see their new show. It didn’t disappoint. In everything from the story to the mind-bending staging, I was awed.
  3. Marisol, Jose Rivera: I directed this show as my senior thesis project at Michigan. Playing in the realm of magical realism was intoxicating, and creating this post-apocalyptic world in a believable way was the most trying directorial challenge I’d yet faced. The production taught me so much, and I would love to take another stab at it someday after now living in New York.

What was your favorite college restaurant?
Tough call. Afternoon Delight, Sava’s, Zingerman’s… Ann Arbor’s got so many great places. But our most regular staple was definitely Pizza House. Serving a full menu ‘till 4am, it became a regular MUSKET hangout spot pretty quickly, and our go to after late tech nights.

What is your earliest memory?
Looking at all the sleeping babies in hospital nursery, trying to decide which one I would take home and call my sister. And the disappointment I felt when told I didn’t get to pick, that I was stuck with the red screaming one the nurse was holding. (She’s since grown less red, but is just as loud J)

What is your internet and/or social media obsession?
In my other life, I do social media for Broadway shows and other live entertainment properties. Tweeting, Facebooking, Pinteresting… You name it, I do it. For many, many shows. So social media in general is kinda my obession. But I also love online places like longreads.com and brainpickings.org ; Thoughtful, always inspiring.

If you were a Friends character, who would you be?
I have a confession to make. I’ve maybe watched Friends…. Once? Twice? I could however easily name the Star Trek captain I’m most like (Picard, with Janeway a close second). #OwningTheInnerDork

What was your favorite movie in each decade of your life?
Raiders of the Lost Ark, As Good as It Gets, Brokeback Mountain

What is your favorite Olympic event?
Any of the running events. Maybe I like them ‘cause of my days running track. Maybe I just like runner’s legs…

LIGHTNING ROUND:

Coffee or tea?  Iced tea. All the time, preferably in an IV.

Mad Men or Breaking Bad?  I’m more a West Wing type of girl actually.

Mac or PC?  Mac.

Manhattan or Brooklyn?  Brooklyn for sure. But not the bearded ugly sweater part (sorry Williamsburg). The park-filled, bike filled, delicious-food and friends part.

Hiking or biking?  Biking. Just finished a lovely long ride today!

Thanks, Alex!  Stay tuned for more interVIEWS next TUES.