Enemy of the Status Quo

Actors Theatre artistic director Matthew Wiener (who's directing The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow) claims he doesn't know what he's doing, but he managed to save one of our best Equity houses from an untimely death last year, so he must be bluffing. Anyone who admits to getting drunk on Manischewitz can't be serious all the time. Read on.

I knew I wanted to be in show business when I was in second grade and was cast as a cavity in a school play about dental care. What a costume!

The worst thing about being an artistic director is the same thing that is best about being an artistic director: picking the next season. It is always challenging to create a season that will serve our mission while capturing the imagination of the public.

The happiest day in my life was the day my twin daughters, Jordan and Claire, were born.

If I could be anyone other than myself, it would be one of my daughters. I wish I could see the world with their sense of wonder and discovery.

It's not entirely true, but I sometimes tell people that I really enjoyed them in a show.

The fictional character I am most like is Sam in Terry Gilliam's futuristic sci-fi film Brazil. Played by Jonathan Pryce, this unremarkable government functionary discovers a bureaucratic error, and in trying to correct it becomes an enemy of the state. He fantasizes about flying away to find the woman of his dreams.

I am utterly terrified of someone discovering that I don't know what the hell I'm doing.

I laugh uncontrollably at my wife's "blonde" moments. (So does she!)

The one thing I absolutely refuse to do on stage is be boring. Other than that, it's an open field.

Something I have never admitted to anyone before is I don't know what the hell I'm doing.

Currently I am reading last week's copies of the Sunday New York Times "Week in Review," Time, New York, and People. I'm always a bit behind.

The first time I got drunk, I . . . don't remember. It was so long ago. But I bet it had something to do with four glasses of Manischewitz kosher wine.

Like my mother used to say, "There's more than one top to every pot."

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Robrt L. Pela has been a weekly contributor to Phoenix New Times since 1991, primarily as a cultural critic. His radio essays air on National Public Radio affiliate KJZZ's Morning Edition.
Contact: Robrt L. Pela