Checking In With James Moore

Known for his considerable, jack-of-all-trades talents as a writer, director, actor, and even light designer, James Moore is one of four original founders of defunkt theatre who remains a fulltime member. And the ensemble is doing better than ever. defunkt was recently listed in American Theatre magazine as one of a dozen "hot, hip, and on the verge" theater companies in the country, and are already planning productions through 2007. Pretty good for a company with an unwavering commitment to making you scratch your head.

What's coming up for defunkt?

Through 2007, we're doing all four parts of Mac Wellman's Crowtet, which we're really excited about. Each fall will have a new section--last season was Murder of Crows, this season will be Hyacinth Macaw. [We're also doing] a collaboration with Theatre Vertigo called Like I Say (in Spring 2006), and I'll be directing that. It's a great script with a nice blend of some of the very plotty elements from Vertigo, but also some of the "radioactive animals falling from the sky" stuff that defunkt is known for.

How far do you intend to take this whole defunkt thing?

It's something that is challenging and while it's challenging and while we still have a place do it in, we'll still do it.

What do you consider challenging?

Works that push us to find new ways of getting [theater] across to an audience. A lot of the pieces we pick leave audience members scratching their heads because we're interested not just in what a work says, but how you get it to say it.

Do you ever consider doing work outside of defunkt?

Absolutely. I'm doing a piece with Emily Stone later in the year that's all movement and based on Richard Foreman texts.

What about working with more "mainstream" theaters that might actually, I don't know, pay you some money?

We wanted to start defunkt because we loved the work we were doing. If other people did the work we liked, who knows...? But it might be nice to do an actual curtain call at some point. As much as we hate them at defunkt, they are kind of fun sometimes.