Pint Sized Interview 7: Sylvia Hathaway vs. Katja Rivera

Pint Sized III opened last night to a packed bar and tumultuous laughter and applause. Did you miss it? Well, no worries, you can see it tonight or tomorrow (at the Plough and the Stars), or next Monday, or the Monday and Tuesday after that! But hey, why not see it tonight so that you can come see it again… and again… and again! Meanwhile, we’ve got two of our directors, Katja Rivera and Sylvia Hathaway, comparing notes on what it’s like to be a part of this year’s Pint Sized Plays!

Who are you, in fifty words or less.

Katja Rivera: Mexican-Irish actor, director, mommy, massage therapist, yoga gal, severe optimist, born and raised in LA, Dodger and Jimmy Cagney fan, keen purveyor of free boxes.

Sylvia Hathaway: I’m a theatre maker and teaching artist with a passion for creating positive change through arts learning. I’m native to the country’s rust belt, growing up in Cleveland and then living near Pittsburgh before moving to SF. I have a background in dance, music, acting and baking with chocolate.

What’s the play you’re directing about?

Katja Rivera: Beer Theory, by Marissa Skudlarek, is about how we can use our mental constructs to say no to opportunity.

Sylvia Hathaway: Circling, by Nancy Cooper Frank, is a comedy of errors that explores one woman’s frustration at what is well-known to be the “scarcest resource in San Francisco”.

What drew you to this kick-ass show?  

Katja Rivera: I like the intelligence of this play, and how the playwright doesn’t go for the easy answer.

Sylvia Hathaway: The script was so open and waiting to be brought to life. I added elements of commedia and farce to the production that complemented the snappy humor really well.

What are you discovering is the challenge of working at Theater Pub?

Katja Rivera: Opening this show 2 days after another show opening/rehearsal space.

Sylvia Hathaway: The challenge is always the audience for me. I sometimes wish I could just rehearse a play forever and never get the audience involved. And yet, it’s such a joy to see them enjoying the show on opening night! Anyway, not knowing where the audience is going to be–whether they are in your playing space or not–that has been the main challenge.

What has you most excited to be there?

Katja Rivera: The fevered talent.

Sylvia Hathaway: Absolutely everyone involved is there because they love doing it. There is no sense of drudgery or heavy responsibility. It’s fast, furious and fun!

What’s been your biggest, craziest, most HA! I PULLED THAT OFF, BITCHES! moment as a director?

Katja Rivera: I think it might be the play I open July 14, An Evening With The Great Zamboni.  Come see it and tell me if I did.

Sylvia Hathaway: This was my first time directing, so I suppose actually getting to opening night with a fantastic piece is my moment!

If you could direct anything, with limitless budget and stars, what would it be and why?

Katja Rivera: Transformations–a book of poems by Anne Sexton.  I love her way of twisting the classic fairy tales.

Sylvia Hathaway: I have always wanted to stage Tim Burton’s A Nightmare Before Christmas for the theatre as an entirely masked musical production.

What’s up next for you?

Katja Rivera: Casting Eurydice, opening April 2013 at Custom Made, and a well deserved break until December.

Sylvia Hathaway: I’m performing in “You Need to Read Poetry” with Performers Under Stress this Fall.

What else in the SF Theater scene has you excited?

Katja Rivera: Marat Sade at Thrillpeddlars

Sylvia Hathaway: I’m most excited about Crowded Fire’s upcoming season. You just can’t miss with that company!

What is your favorite beer?

Katja Rivera: Bunderberg Ginger Beer.

Sylvia Hathaway: My favorite beer is a glass of red wine. But in the spirit of opening night at Cafe Royale, I enjoyed a local brew called Triple Vodoo Inception, which was delicious.

Don’t miss Pint Sized Plays III, tonight, tomorrow and July 23, 30 and 31!