6Q kicks off with Ethan Lipton whose show NO PLACE TO GO is currently running at Joe's Pub. Ethan was a member of The Public Theater's inaugural 2008 Emerging Writers Group.
Sevan K. Greene: What prompted you to write this show about this subject at this point in time?
Ethan Lipton: I lost my job of 10 years and realized it was the glue that had been holding my life together. I wanted to capture the anger and helplessness of that experience, and to offer a eulogy to a place that had been my home away from home.
SKG: You are very much an Everyman in the show. I think you represent the voice of a lot of Americans disenfranchised during this economic crisis. And you deal with the subject in a really creative and touching way. What do you think is the solution to making it all better?
EL: If my show lands with people, I think it's partly due to the fact that I don't claim to know more than I do. This show is sincerely political, but I believe artists are principally charged with pointing out hypocrisy and injustice, and that we do that in the hopes that it changes consciousness and eventually leads to making things better.
SKG: You describe yourself as an old-time singer/songwriter, and your music covers a wide range of styles with very witty and urbane lyrics. Who are your biggest musical influences and why?
EL: I've always been most moved by troubadours like Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, Randy Newman and Willie Nelson. They're all storytellers, and to some degree they each make use of personae, so they're telling you something intimate and wrought with truth, but you never know exactly where they're coming from. Their songs make being human seem more complicated and they're not so concerned with making themselves look better than they really are.
SKG: Pop open your iTunes and tell me what the most played song on your list is. What do you think it means OR how does it represent you?
EL: "Dance Yrself Clean," by LCD Sound System. Probably says that I'm hard to please but I like to boogie.
SKG: Describe the worst job you ever had in your life.
EL: I once spent most of a summer picking up trash at a corporate event park. The trash-picking was lousy enough, but what I remember most was that I made some dumb joke on the first day that made the cool trash-pickers kinda dismiss me, and that I spent the rest of the summer trying unsuccessfully to get back in their good graces.
6Q - Question from the Twitterverse
@eathere2 (Jerusha Klemperer): Ask Ethan why he isn't tweeting. Perfect venue for his short strange witticisms. Tell him Jerusha sez so.
@EthanLipton: I am tweeting now. :)
About Ethan Lipton’s NO PLACE TO GO
The company where he’s worked for the past ten years is moving to another planet, and playwright Ethan Lipton doesn’t want to go. Part love letter to his co-workers, part query to the universe, part protest to his company and country, NO PLACE TO GO delivers a hilarious, irreverent and personal musical ode to the unemployed.
NO PLACE TO GO is playing at Joe’s Pub through this Sunday, April 8. Click here for tickets and more information.
6Q is a quick look into the minds of the playwrights, composers, lyricist, and sometimes directors and actors with shows at The Public Theater by asking probing and quirky questions, including one solicited from the Twitterverse (to send in your question follow @PublicTheaterNY. Use #6Q)
6Q is written by Sevan K. Greene, a NYC-based actor and playwright. He was a member of The Public Theater's 2011 Emerging Writers Group. In addition to 6Q, Sevan also spearheaded the Emerging Writers Group Blog. www.sevangreene.com