Indoctrination of the Young

Somehow between 9:13 pm Wednesday night and 12:07 am Thursday morning Dylan Frederick, the 16-year-old writer, director, and producer of Audish, was able to round up answers to my group-interview questions from three of his similarly-aged cast-mates. It’s instances like this that make me waffle between appreciation and wondering where one’s parents are. I fretted a bit over my questions – wanting to respect their talent, training, and experience, yet at the same time making it clear that they’re a young collective. Turns out there was no need to fret – these peeps did juuuust fine. Without further ado, the unedited transcript:

How old are you? DYLAN: 16 years old. MEGAN: 15 years old. KIANA: 15 years old. ANDERS: 17 years old.

Despite your youth, none of you are newbies to the stage... what has been your favorite role so far? Why? DYLAN: Talking roles, I would say Mr. Antrobus in Skin of Our Teeth...totally the most fun...Peter in Company and several roles in The Laramie Project... MEGAN: My favorite role, is probably the role i am playing i a show called YOUR HAPPY PLACE, its a collaboration with Stages teen artists and Jon Ferguson, who seems to be famous at the fringe. Its playing now, around different places such as Bedlam Theatre and the Soap Factory. It is my favorite because it is so free, and fun, and a challenge every time we perform, because it is a street theatre show. Its thrilling and exciting! KIANA: Sally, in 'You're a Good Man Charlie Brown', because it is my biggest role and because of the energy it takes to play her. I love using lots of energy onstage so it makes this role really fun. ANDERS: My role in audish...I have had so much freedom (seeing as I wrote it, with the lovely Dylan Frederick) instant improvs go unqestioned.

Do you hope to see any other Fringe shows? If yes, which ones? DYLAN: Well, I am really looking forward to Reefer well as Meet the Macbeths... MEGAN: I do hope to see others, I am quite swamped time wise, but i am hoping to see many. A few, The Secrets of the Little Yellow Diary, Hey! I am Talking Murder Here, Musical! The Musical, and others! KIANA: Yes, I hope to see Musical the Musical, Reefer Madness and Spring Awakening. ANDERS: DANCE OF THE WHISKEY FAIRY! I really would love to see Dance of the whiskey fairy, as well as Great American Horror Movie Musical

In your school, was/is being involved in theater something to be proud of, or something to hide? DYLAN: I go to an art's school so it is for sure something to be proud of... MEGAN: I would not say its the coolest thing you could possibly do at a stereotypical high school! But there are only a few of us at my school who really take theatre seriously, and do shows outside of the school musicals. I have never gotten made fun of for doing theatre, that i can remember! KIANA: Definitely something to be proud of! ANDERS: As of this fall I am going to be attending an arts school, so I'm assuming it will be something that everyone has in common. At my old school it was certainly something I was proud of. People always seemed interested by it, whether they were faking it or not I don't know, but I've never been/felt the need to be ashamed of my involvement in theatre.

If you got famous and could tell the school jocks to suck it, would you? DYLAN: we have no jocks. and fame is scary. and sometimes icky! i'm to scared to answer this question. MEGAN: i probably wouldn't care what they would think! i mean i am ready having a lot more fun than them so i don't really care if they want to weight lift all day! KIANA: Hell yes! ANDERS: Not really...well maybe the coaches, for their pressuring me to join EVERY GOD KNOWN SPORT...but even I (with my lack of involvement) can say I appreciate sports. Everyone has their own niche, whether thats in visual arts, performing arts, engineering, sports, etc. it is good to harness those abilities/talents. If me being involved in theatre isn't an issue for them, why should their sporting adventure's irritate me?

Do you want your show to be reviewed by the major press publications? Why/why not? DYLAN: Yes, yes, yes. I think it's a really great piece and I would hate to miss any opportunity to reach out to new audiences with it. MEGAN: GO FOR IT! if someone wants to review Audish, go for it! i won't stop them, i am confident that there will be a positive response to this show. ANDERS: Yes! I guess I don't really have a reason other than, I really enjoy this show an I would love for the word to get out there.

What's your favorite play? DYLAN: Death of a Salesman...never gets old... MEGAN: My favorite plat i have ever seen, hmmm well thats tough! i guess picking a favorite is tough. I have had the oppurtunity to see tons of musicals, not as many plays. I really liked pen at the Guthrie, you're my favorite kind of pretty at the southern...TONS!

What's your favorite YouTube viral video? DYLAN: Derrick Comedy's "Jerry" MEGAN: I have absolutley no clue! haha! ANDERS: Smosh videos are always great. Usually I use youtube to watch tv shows or comedians, but I always appreciate a good clever home made vid.

Do you think theater is a dying art form? If so, do you think anything can be done to save it - any way to get audiences hooked at a young age? DYLAN: In Minneapolis? It's the opposite in my opinion. Maybe it's because I spend so much time in an arts infused atmosphere, but I believe theatre is growing especially among young people. Many theatres are really learning how to reach out to teens with new programs and new genres. Theatre will stay alive as long as theatre artists keep it that way...and as long as audiences and artists people keep taking chances... MEGAN: I don't think its a dying art form. I do think its sad that it has to compete with films, and tv shows, but i think that it is special enough that it will never die. There are many places young children can go to see theatre, Stages Theatre, Childrens Theatre, Stepping Stone Theatre, Youth Performance Co...and i think if parents introduce theatre to their kids, they will keep it alive and be affected by it! ANDERS: No way! Theatre excites and entertains right before your eyes. For the same reason an on demand concert won't put the music industry out of business. Experiencing live theatre is so unlike going to a cinema and watching a story. Long live theatre!

Twitter: "yes," "no," or "huh?" DYLAN: What is twitter? I feel stupid!! MEGAN: ....... ANDERS: The appropriate answer for me would probably be huh? seeing as I don't know what this means...but I'll just say yes.

Anything else you think I should know, or wish I would have asked? Except for show pimping - we already have that info. DYLAN: Fringe is a great experience for any youth who are ready for more in their art form. If you want to get the most out of it, it can be a lot of work at sometimes...but a very good experience... MEGAN: Thanks for your interest! its fun being in the fringe! :) ANDERS: Not really, these questions were pretty fun. I can't think of a question that would be more/equally exciting to answer.

I have to admit, my favorite response wasn’t even in formal interview – it was a caveat for one of their answers: “We answered most of the questions...but none of us know what twitter is...and i dont know if I even WANT to know...or do I?”

Verrrry interesting. Welcome to the dark side, my children.