Track Three: 'When You're Dead,' inspired by 'Mansion on the Hill'
Today we spin our collection of questions over to Chris Bower, author of 'When You're Dead,' inspired by 'Mansion on the Hill' (original tune here). We have been a fan of Chris's work for a long time and can't be more thrilled that he is a part of Deliver Us. So without further ado, let's hear what he has to say:
What’s your name and what are you doing here?
My name is Chris Bower and I wrote the script for "When You're Dead" inspired by "Mansion on the Hill." The play is directed by Kyra Lewandowski and features a performance by Nate White.
How did you come to be a part of Deliver Us From Nowhere?
I do a lot of work at Rhino Fest, which is the Curious Theatre Branch yearly festival of new work. I do my best to see as many of the shows as possible and was introduced to Tympanic through their work in the festival. [Artistic Director] Dan Caffrey came to see my show, which I think was 'Mascot' and through some mutual friends, we started talking. Dan asked me if I wanted to write a piece for this show, and even though I was not in a good state of mind to write a new show, I was drunk, and lonely, so I said yes. A month after I said yes, I came to the realization that it is really hard to write a 10 minute play that makes any fucking sense.
What about a night inspired by Bruce Springsteen gets you most jazzed?
I admire "Nebraska" but I don't love it. At the same time, it is impossible to deny the power it has, the influence it has had on music in that it changed the expectations and possibilities, not so much for music, but for audiences. This is the Springsteen record you put on, if you are a big fan of the man, when the party is over and you want to actually talk to your friends, or not talk to your friends but be with them anyway. I don't want to come off as a crank; "Nebraska" is a thoughtful, beautiful, important, sweet and angry record that is worthy of this kind of attention. I just wish that someone would do something like this to my favorite record, "Teenager of the Year" by Frank Black. I am "jazzed" about the chance to see a lot of new voices theatrically investigate this record and I am happy to be a part of it. "Teenager of the Year" wouldn't work because people don't really care about that record, not in the way people collectively care about "Nebraska." Also, it has 10 songs and not 22. While I have an ear, can someone please write a short play about, "The Vanishing Spies?"
What about the song ‘Mansion On The Hill’ inspired you to write this piece?
I was drawn to the lack of narrative in the song, the mystery and the images and it's just a really sad song, but not in a traditional way. There is no sad story but everything just reeks of sadness. It was just a matter of pulling out the images and creating my own story, extending small moments I was seeing in my head. It's really just a song about a family in a car looking out windows. I did my best to make my piece as song-like as possible with small moments and trying to not outstay my welcome.
What's one of your favorite Springsteen lyrics?
"Is a dream a lie if it don't come true? Or is it something worse?" From The River
In five words or less, why should people come see Deliver Us From Nowhere?
Original work, captivating source material.
Deliver Us From Nowhere: Tales From Nebraska opens April 26th and runs through May 20th at The Righ Brain Project. Get your tickets here