Monday, September 3, 2012

Kim Katzberg

Kim Katzberg's Penetrating the Space garnered critical acclaim and two nominations this season.

It has been a busy year for the multi-talented performer. We asked Kim to tell us a little more about her provocative work.

What was the inspiration for Penetrating the Space?

For years I felt this burning in my gut that I wanted to create an original piece of theater that was entirely from my voice. I felt limited in many of the roles I played in traditional theater and felt that there were characters inside of me that wished to be expressed that lived beyond the boundaries of most plays. The characters in PTS came from my bowels. After I earned my MFA in acting I finally had the confidence to try and write a show from these characters' points of view.

What has the audiences’ reaction been to the piece. 

People either really like it or they don't get it. Even though it is exploring a woman's experience in relation to dominating men, guys seem to really relate to the vulnerability in the show. Audiences find it disturbing and funny at the same time. People have told me that sometimes they feel worried to laugh because they aren't sure if they should. I love that reaction!

Tell us a little about your 'one-woman show kit' and maybe some of the best reactions to it.

When I would cart all of my props, costumes, set pieces and the huge purple horse around the city in a grocery cart to go to a rehearsal studio-people mostly said, "nice donkey!"

Maia Cruz Palileo is also nominated for the Innovative Design award. What were her contributions to the work and what was it like working with her?

Maia is a visual artist and had never worked on a piece of theater before. She is my wife and we both adore eachother's work so we felt inspired to collaborate. Maia created stop motion animations that expressed the characters' inner monologues or moved the story along. She also designed and built the purple horse. Working with her was a dream. She's incredibly hard working and intense. I can't wait to work with her again.

Penetrating the Space was produced on a double bill with Tom X. Chao’s nominated production Callous Cad. How did these two shows work together as an evening and what were the benefits and challenges of having two separate productions on the same bill?
One of the challenges of doing a solo show is that it gets lonely. Working with Tom gave me a lot of support because we were in this thing together and we weren't competing in any way. Also, Tom is an experienced producer and I was not. This was my very first solo show. He acted as a mentor to me which was invaluable. It was also financially helpful because we split many of the costs. The challenge was to get reviewers to see both shows.

What’s next for you?

I have a new solo show, Darkling, in development. It's partly autobiographical in that the protagonist is based on me at 13 when my older sister ran away from her lock-up boarding school. I recently performed a short excerpt from the piece in CATCH 52.

Congratulations to everyone involved with Penetrating the Space!

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