Kyle Jarrow (Writer/Composer) penned the Off-Broadway hits A Very Merry Unauthorized Childrens Scientology Pageant (OBIE Award), Armless (FringeNYC Overall Excellence Award), and
President Harding is a Rock Star. The New York Times described him as “New Yorks hipster playwright.” Kyles work has been seen at HERE Arts Center, The John Houseman Theatre, New Dramatists, Dixon Place, The Tank, The Hangar Theatre, Boston Theatre Works, and The Powerhouse Theatre in LA among others. Kyle is also part of the glam-rock band The Fabulous Entourage (www.fabulousentourage.com).
1. Where did the idea for Gorilla Man come from?
It was an idea I had back when I was going through
puberty myself. Adolescence felt like a
metamorphosis, like becoming some kind of animal. I
thought this was very clever at the time: using the
idea of becoming an animal as a metaphor for puberty.
Soon after, I realized the idea had been exploited in
Teen Wolf as well as in decades of comic books. But
for some reason, ten years later, the concept still
held interest for me. I started to see it as a play
about genetic determinism and issues of free will vs.
predetermination. Since Teen Wolf doesn’t really
engage any of these concepts, I figured I should write
2. Music obviously plays a big role in your theatrical
productions, what artists inspire you musically?
I come from a pop music background, so that’s the
stylistic influence I try to bring to my songwriting.
I’m not a fan of most musical theater — except for
Hedwig, which I think is pretty rad. Lately, I’ve
been listening to a lot of Flaming Lips, Nick Cave,
Violent Femmes, and Le Tigre. I’ve also recently come
to love the bands Arcade Fire and Superfurry Animals.
3. How does Gorilla Man differ from work you’ve done
in the past?
In a lot of my past writing, I’ve tried to figure out
how to bring the feeling of a rock show — that
visceral, loose interaction of performer and spectator
— to a theatrical setting. I think I’ve come closest
to achieving this with Gorilla Man, with the help of
an amazing cast and production team.
4. Have you enjoyed working with director Habib Azar?
How is his creative process different from the other
directors you’ve worked with?
Habib is a pleasure to work with. He’s energetic,
decisive, and not afraid to try things. Actors love
him. I’ve found him an exciting collaborator because
he has extensive training trained in both stage
directing and music composition. As a result, he
brings to the table a unique ability to handle both
the music and dialogue elements of the piece.
5. So, what are you up to after Gorilla Man?
A bunch of a different things. My glam rock band The
Fabulous Entourage (www.fabulousentourage.com) has
upcoming gigs at Sin-E on 4/2 and Pianos on 4/20. And
I’m finishing up two new plays: one is about a man who
comes to believe he has the power to create natural
disasters; the other is a rock musical about 1950s
spree killers Charlie Starkweather and Caril Fugate.
That second one will have gallons and gallons of fake
blood onstage, which should be pretty gross and
awesome. I’m also getting involved in writing for TV
and film, so we’ll see where that goes.