5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche, Exclusive Interview
If you didn’t catch The New Colony’s 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche during their successful Chicago run that began summer 2011, you just can’t imagine what you missed. This hilarious show about the ladies of the Susan B. Anthony Society for the Sisters of Gertrude Stein, and their “meetings” with fellow widows in which they glorify the egg, by having a monthly quiche breakfast should not be missed. Each sister lovingly prepares a quiche for a “best of” contest, and the winner has the honor of having their quiche eaten first.
Tony recently sat down with the ladies to discuss their love of the egg and their exciting trip to the New York, where they will be taking their love for the egg and each other to the New York Fringe Festival! The interview is a lot of fun and Tony had some issues with keeping it together, but we hope you enjoy.
We asked our good friend Michael Harnichar who works closely with New Colony to conduct an interview with the amazing Sarah Gitenstein, who is the director of 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche.
5 ((VERY LESBIAN)) QUESTIONS
By Michael Harnichar
Let’s be sassy and start of with a two-parter, about the development of the piece.
MH: Where did the title 5 LESBIANS EATING A QUICHE come from?
SG: Andy Hobgood and I were at a party and somehow it came up in conversation (just the phrase). We thought it would be a great title for a play. We immediately wrote it down and later used the title to help us devise a ten-minute play for Collaboraction’s Sketchbook 10. We literally only had the title and built the story off of that.
MH: How did The New Colony connect 5 lesbians (and quiche) to an atomic bomb?
SG: We knew we wanted to do a period piece and we loved the idea of setting it in the 50s because of the aesthetic style of that time. Because of the time period we knew the ladies in the piece would not be openly gay so we had to give them a circumstance where they would all, at once, feel comfortable coming out to each other. In that case, it had to be some sort of “end of the world” scenario. In the 50s, the threat of a nuclear attack was constant. Everyone was practicing the “Duck and Cover”. We thought the bomb actually dropping and their subsequent imprisonment, so to speak, in the bomb shelter, was the perfect opportunity for them to really be themselves.
MH: The show has been successful, already having been remounted across the country! Notably in very different regions like Charleston (SC), Nebraska, San Francisco (just to name a few) and now New York City as part of the 2012 Fringe Festival! What is the “secret ingredient” in this play that makes it so successful?
SG: While this is a comedy, none of it is tongue and cheek. There is depth and meaning to the story. With that said, the actors have to really believe what they are saying. If they can portray that their character truly believes that the “Egg is as close to the Lord Jesus as a piece of food can get”, then they add depth to the show. It helps the audience to invest in the story. If the actors are winking at the audience, it underestimates the audience’s intelligence and takes away from the innuendos and genuineness of the script and the characters.
MH: As the director of the piece how much did you emphasize the audience interactive experience kind of a thing?
SG: The audience is the 6th character in the show! It is crucial. We always would hit a wall at a certain point in the rehearsal process because we were literally missing the 6th character, the audience!
MH: How can (or how does!) the show change every night?
SG: A lot of it can depend on the audience. We have to work very hard to recognize that just because the audience isn’t audibly laughing, it doesn’t mean they aren’t invested in or enjoying the show. Sometimes the audience just really wants to be a part of the show and will be very vocal, other times they just want to follow the story and hear what happens next. This is a key note that I have for the actresses, just because the audience isn’t laughing it does not mean that you have to try harder to make them laugh, it just means you have to continue telling the story and stay true to your character.
MH: Finally, what is in your prize quiche?
SG: A lady never tells!