Director Tiffany Nichole Greene
BETWEEN RIVERSIDE AND CRAZY
SEP 14 – OCT 13
Many SpeakEasy fans will recognize Tiffany Nichole Greene from her SpeakEasy acting debut as Sutter’s Mom (as well as a handful of other hilarious characters) in our 2016 production of Bootycandy. But now Tiffany is back at SpeakEasy making her directing debut with Between Riverside and Crazy, which opens next Friday, Sept 14. Recently, we asked Tiffany a few questions about just what makes this show so special.
What attracted you to direct BETWEEN RIVERSIDE AND CRAZY?
I love this play! I am endlessly fascinated by human behavior and our volatile relationship to/with fear: the fear of failure, the fear of being vulnerable, the fear of being seen, and ultimately, the fear that what you see won’t be “enough”. I am also intrigued by the themes of Manhood and Legacy. Thus, I was drawn to these imperfect people: this group of damaged, tough fighters trying to connect without being seen and trying to create lives they can take some pride in without exposing themselves to anymore of life’s potential let-downs and pains. There’s a broken intimacy on display, and yet the bonds between them remain impenetrable in spite of their brokenness. The dialogue is comical and the desperation is thick. There’s a persistent slipping of the rope as they work with clenched teeth and tough wit to climb out of their circumstances. We watch these characters come face to face with failure, and it’s an incredibly difficult pill to swallow. It’s actually a very vulnerable thing experience just through watching. We, as audience, are confronted with the many fragilities of humanity through these characters and their stories.
How relevant do you think the play and its themes are today?
I find this play to be extremely relevant: the corrupt methods of this police force, the unofficial “partnership” this police force has with the New York City Housing Authority, the way allies turn on one another so quickly in pursuit of status, the way politics takes priority over justice, gentrification… the list goes on.
What do you see as Mr. Guirgis’ strengths as a writer?
Stephen Adly Guirgis writes flawed characters that you can’t dismiss or ignore. In order to get to know these characters, you must first embrace and invest in their “ugly” as it is the route to understanding and loving them. In my opinion, it takes a certain amount of brilliance and deep love for humanity to create such beautifully broken people.