I had the pleasure and privilege of having an interview published on the La MaMa blog for the upcoming production of SEAGULLMACHINE (playing at La MaMa's Ellen Stewart April 14-May 5 2018). Thought I'd share it with you here. Here's a link to the original article, text of which is copied below.
We caught up with Jax Jackson, one of the stars of The Assembly's SEAGULLMACHINE, and Jax took a stab at our 6 Questions. SEAGULLMACHINE is a mashup of Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull and Heiner Muller’s Hamletmachine and begins performances on Saturday, April 14th in the Ellen Stewart Theatre at La MaMa.
1. Who do you play in SEAGULLMACHINE?
I play Konstantin in The Seagull, then in Hamletmachine I'm Hamlet, the Actor Who Plays Hamlet, and Ophelia as well. The layers of performance make this a more complicated question than it is with many shows. I can say I'm the actor who plays the actor who plays Konstantinhamlet.
2. The play asks “What’s the good of making theater anyway?” How would you answer that?
I hope it isn't the kind of thing that, once you name why it's important, it isn't important anymore. I think it has something to do with how we dream. I've heard that we dream to 'rehearse' scenarios in our nervous system without the consequences of waking life. I've also heard that we can imagine what we perceive others experiencing in ourselves. If these are both true, I suppose that theatre is kind of like dreaming on someone else's behalf, to offer them a chance to rehearse a different life without subjecting them to the consequences of that world. I think that's important, because if we can imagine ourselves in another reality, we can appreciate what is salvageable or dismissible from our own, and create ways to make it better. Right now we need as many tools as we can to make this reality better, to see the good in the world, and to come together in shared space and time without fear.
3. Do you have a preference: Anton Chekhov or Heiner Müller?
Neither? Don't get me wrong, they've both got a lot of fascinating elements that are fun to pick through and play around with, but they both also have problems that I don't especially want to be committed to.
4. Do you have a “dream role” or a favorite role you've played?
I enjoy surprises so I don't exactly have dream roles. More like dream circumstances, where I'm challenged and cared for. I also call myself a "devising actor"; I like crafting new roles collaboratively, so this role in SEAGULLMACHINE feels pretty special.
5. What is the last good book/play/film/art exhibit you’ve seen/read?
-I saw Is God Is at Soho Rep and was blown away.
6. What does working at La MaMa mean to you?
I've seen many pieces of work at La MaMa that exploded my mind. I treasure this space, the programs, most of all the community that's built around this questioning, this openness. I feel honored to add myself to that community as a performer for the first time.
La MaMa in association with The Assembly presents
Created by The Assembly Conceived by Nick Benacerraf Co-directed by Jess Chayes & Nick Benacerraf Text by Anton Chekhov, Heiner Müller, and The Assembly
April 14 - 29, 2018 (just extended thru May 5!)
The Ellen Stewart Theatre at La MaMa 66 East 4th Street (between Bowery and Second Avenue) New York, NY 10003
Tickets: $30 Adults; $25 Students/Seniors; first ten tickets to every performance available for $10 each, advance sales only, as part of La MaMa 10 @ $10 ticketing initiative. For Tickets and Info: CLICK HERE