It felt like a question about our marriage: talking Sticky with David Marcus

When Dave and I started Sticky in 2000, which you can read about here, we could not have guessed that it would still be happening 15 years later. Not only is this thing we created still happening, it’s happening without our creative involvement. (I mean Dave’s going to host the show Thursday, and Ali’s directing my play Ipsa Domus, but we’re not like deciding things or running around to rehearsals.) So I figured I’d talk to Dave about that.

This is us in 2002 in the space where we produced our last Philly show. I think Dave is showing Libby how to work his Palm Pilot.

This is us in 2002 in the space where we produced our last Philly show. I think Dave is showing Libby how to work his Palm Pilot.

Do you remember when we were doing Sticky at Bar Noir in Philly and Brad Rothbart asked us if we could forsee a Sticky ever happening that did not have us at the helm? Do you remember what we said?

I recall Brad asking if there could be a Blue Box production without us, which I think is a different question. I said no. I don’t recall what you said. A Sticky without us is not the same. Sticky is a form we invented, but one which anybody can use. I remember sensing that Brad’s question was about more than art though, it felt like a question about our marriage, about the way we choose to relate to each other. When we run a show it kind of revolves around us, Everybody else, (though to a lesser extent Scholnick, Matt or Ali, our co producers) seem to be in our orbit. But I think that’s how we wanted it. At least it’s how I wanted it.

I don’t remember what I said either. Alot of our marriage has been about art. There’s always like this external thing that we’re beholden to, and until 5 years ago that main thing has been art projects. It’s interesting because over those past 5 years– since C was born– we’ve worked much more independently, and the blue box designation has faded. I do things under li88y inc, like Puff Puff, or How to Sell Your Gang Rape Baby for Parts (that’s right kids), and you do freelance writing or Spotlight Right. Even Sticky is on this new site. It’s like the new blue box production is our kid. I wonder if we’ll do more big art projects together or if that’s run its course. What do you think?

It’s hard to say. I suspect we will at some point. There is so much to do now that everything is a blur, so it’s the stuff lands that we focus on, not the stuff that needs nurturing. Right now our individual projects are the ones landing, so it’s what we do. When it was just the two of us it was easier to throw spaghetti against the wall. But these things have a way of coming around.

How does it feel to have Sticky happening here in Brooklyn, under the guidance of Ali Ayala, Eliel Lucero, and Michele Travis, and out in Normal, IL, with J. Michael Grey at the helm?

It feels wonderful. These are all accomplished and talented artists. I’m really grateful to see Mike doing it in Illinois and for the producers who we have here at Beauty Bar. I’ve always thought theater has to be faster, drunker and more social, so anytime anyone is moving in that direction I’m happy. And its humbling to have people want to do it with the name Sticky. A lot of times, when there is innovation in any area you see the initial cats who envision the thing eventually overtaken by the ones who can perfect it. I’ve always thought of us, as producers anyway, as the former. We don’t have the patience or desire to run a big theater company, to have a huge impact, we just have fun and try to present good work. It it can spread and grow through the artistry and hard work of others then I think we did what we can do.

Speak for yourself! I still want a venue. I would be a kick ass venue owner. I have it all planned out, even the part where the place doesn’t go broke. Do you think Sticky still has a place in the NYC indie theater scene? There’s loads more bar play shows happening now than there were when we started.

I wasn’t sure if Sticky had a place, but given that there are people here, and in Illinois who won’t let it die I guess there must be. Sticky is the embodiment of my theories on theater. The idea of event over object, the low overhead, the profane rather than sacred nature of it, the whole notion of being in a room together. I’m not sure the other bar series are quite the same, most don’t have quite the same slacker quality. But in general I’m always happy to see theater move off the stages and into more social environments. I have little doubt it is the future of the form, and that’s probably why it’s being propagated so regularly now.

You can come see Sticky this week! It’s on Thursday.
Beauty Bar, 249 5th Avenue, Brooklyn, 11215
Thursday, February 5, 7:30 pm
$10 advance, $15 at the door

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