Human 2.0 Artist – Larry Kunofsky

This interview series will focus on the artists of DEINDE and ForePlay Human 2.0, asking them to riff on the themes and question of the plays.

Larry Kunofsky has been slinging some seriously good pages at Flux Sunday of late, so we were thrilled that he signed on to evolve our sense of empathy in the March 26 Human 2.0. It was funnier than we expected – and we expected it to be pretty frackin’ funny – and heartfelt, to boot.

What crazy invention are you most looking forward to in the future?
The brain is like the ocean, man. And in the future, we will plunge its depths.

We’ll be able to download memory from brains, and we’ll be able to do memory-sharing. Like, I’ll download my memories directly into your brain, so that YOU can remember the first time I fell in love, or my best chess match, or when I saw Antony an the Johnsons open for Rufus Wainwright.

It’ll be trippy.

The future will make Philip K. Dick look like Booth Tarkington.

In 2051, theatre will be ________.
-a live, direct experience free from technology and special effect.

All other media in 2051 will be so extremely upgraded that we’ll run to the theatre to escape all the technocrap.

Also, there will be no actual theaters. Theatre will occupy every walk of life. Theatre will be everywhere and everywhere will be a theater. Site specific theatre in the delivery room! At the cemetery! In a burning building!  Theatre in 2051 will make Occupy Wall Street look like an Easter Egg Hunt at your local shul!

Man, I can’t wait for 2051!

If you could evolve one of your own senses, which would it be, and why?
People say I’m too sensitive to begin with, so maybe I would take my senses down a notch or twelve.

If I could experiment with sensory alterations that wouldn’t be permanent, I’d try to shut off my otherwise finely honed Bullshit Detector. I’d fall for a lot of bullshit, of course, and that would be terrible in the long term, of course, but it might be like a good high in the short term. All that raw naivete would be like pure, uncut heroin.

For the human race to evolve, it will need to_____.
Abandon entitlement, greed, ant-intellectualism, bigotry, and Philistinism, and embrace the philosophy of Live And Let Live, self-acceptance, acceptance of others, culture, multi-culturalism, and compassion. When we do, we will become a truly enlightened, joy-based species.

A time-travelling-you from the future suddenly appears with something important to tell present-you. What do they have to say?
Future Me will say: Turn down the Nobel Prize for Literature for political reasons. Because that will freak everybody out! Especially because you will never be offered the Nobel Prize for Literature. Boy, we can’t wait to not win the Nobel Prize for Literature, so that we can turn it down!

Because Future Me is CRAZY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Will the future be more like Star Trek, Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, or the Jetsons?
I think the future will look like MY MAN GODFREY, a lovely Depression-era screwball comedy, because I love Black&White cinematography. I think the future will look better in Black&White. Because everything does.

If you had the opportunity to think and feel directly into a computer, would you take it? 
Well, if I interacted with a computer, and I discovered that a computer company was exploiting workers, and then I did a theatre piece on it, and then Ira Glass yelled at me on This American Life and didn’t edit out all my pauses in my interview, that would probably suck. So, no.

What do you have coming up in the near future that you want our readers to know about?
The NEAR future?! That’s the coolest future there is!

The Management, one of my very favorite indie theatre companies (along with Flux! And Purple Rep, of course!) is producing my play YOUR BOYFRIEND MAY BE IMAGINARY at Under St. Marks every Thursday through Saturday in April. Come see this play and your future will be so bright, you’ll have to wear shades.

LARRY KUNOFSKY is a New York-based playwright whose work includes My Therapist, a monologue play for forty-five actors; The Cat Person, a two-hander, with live cats; “Oh, Magic Bag…” about a bag of porn possessed by demons; Vicky Victim, about vicious office friendships among women; So Retarded – A Play For Idiots, a kind of Vagina Monologues-takeoff on the mentally challenged; bender/gender/straight/&neutered, a play-cycle on the ever-changing nature of sexuality; Death and The Pizza Man, a satire on developmental theatre; Thanks For Having Me, about a well-educated homeless guy who couch-surfs a lot; The Lunch Anxieties, which is kind of like the movie Groundhog’s Day, but with lunch, and without Bill Murray, and much scarier; Social Work (a nightmare), about health care, race, and Internet dating; and The Worst Person In The Whole Entire World Of All Time Ever, which is about everybody’s mom.

His play The Un-Marrying Project, a documentary-within-a-play about married couples divorcing in the name of gay marriage rights, will have its World Premiere as part of Purple Rep’s first mini-season in April 2011. His current, ongoing project is THE GENESIS TAPESTRIES, a cycle of plays inspired by stories or themes from the Book of Genesis. The three plays completed so far in this project are The Myths We Need – or – How to Begin; ‘think-yer-better-than-me?!; and The Big Ear.

He has been a three-time winner of the John Golden Award for Drama and a resident at the Edward Albee Foundation. His work has been excerpted in the 2009 editions of The Best Men’s and Best Women’s Stage Monologues and Scenes, published by Smith & Kraus, and his full-length play What To Do When You Hate All Your Friends – an anti-social comedy, will be published by Playscripts in early 2011. He is a member of The Dramatists Guild.

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