Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: The production, The High Captain, will soon be appearing as part of the Hollywood Fringe Festival. For those who may be unfamiliar, what can you tell us about its premise?
Joe Jatcko: A group of grounded petroleum barge workers attempt to hold an election on their new desert island home...while high on gas fumes.
BD: What was your inspiration for writing this play, and what do you hope that audiences will take away from the show?
JJ: Probably not surprisingly, it was inspired by the 2016 presidential election. It was really just my personal therapy throughout the election, but once the results were in, I felt like I had to get it out there. The process of trying to come up with something more absurd than our current situation was oddly cathartic, and I wanted to share it with others. I truly hope it provides a safe space to process whatever emotions audience members might be expressing--and there are even opportunities to express them out loud. Basically, I hope it provides the same kind of therapy for audiences as it did for me during the process of writing it.
BD: You have a tremendous cast and crew involved with the production! What can you share with us about the creative process in bringing the shows to life?
JJ: I was lucky enough to find a director in Eric Cire that had a strong vision and knew exactly who would be up to the task for each part. The fact that he was so decisive during the casting process and brought in people with established chemistry made for a smooth transition into rehearsal. The most impressive thing to me has been the physicality the cast has brought to the show.
BD: What makes the Hollywood Fringe Festival an ideal venue for The High Captain?
JJ: Beside the fact that it’s about high people setting up a government? Honestly, for a show with provocative ideas like ours, this is the perfect situation. I feel like people come in with open minds every night, which is important, because there are a lot of arrows being shot at all parts of the political spectrum. Ultimately, it’s a show for everyone and--as became clear immediately--so is Fringe.
BD: The show will be appearing at the Hobgoblin Playhouse from June 10-24, 2018. Are there any future plans to perform the show at other venues?
JJ: Our main goal in doing it at Fringe is to get picked up for a run during the next election cycle. If it’s anything like the last one, we’d like to be there to provide a little mental tropical vacation for people.
BD: Lastly, what would you like to tell readers who want to learn more about and purchase tickets for The High Captain?
JJ: Tickets and additional info can be found at http://hff18.org/5226!