PLAYBILL.COM'S BRIEF ENCOUNTER with The Noteworthy Life of Howard Barnes Writers Michael Kooman and Christopher Dimond

By Sophia Saifi
06 Jul 2013

Cast member Sarah Stiles

Question: So do you think there will be more changes?

Dimond: Absolutely. We've been working all morning and talking about things to implement in rehearsals. That's why we want to be here. With this kind of show you need the freedom to experiment to throw an idea out there and see what happens with it and see how it changes things and determine whether that is the right direction to go or not.

Question: You mentioned that there are many references to musicals, there are a lot of in-jokes as well. You've referenced many big of personalities in the world of music theatre. Do you feel the references could be alienating to an audience?

Kooman: Our goal is to make it work on different levels. We're hoping it works on two levels. We want everyone to enjoy this, whether you've seen every musical that is ever written or if you've seen zero musicals.

Question: Whats next for The Noteworthy LIfe of Howard Barnes

Dimond: I'm sure we will come away with the final performance this Friday, were going to have some more workshop opportunities this summer to hear it all out and we're hoping to go from there. We're going to send it out and engage interest.

Question: What about the cast. Is this your dream cast?

Dimond: I'd say this is pretty much a dream cast scenario. We've been really happy with the works these folks have done. They're really giving their all, completely dedicated to it, putting themselves in front of an audience with very few rehearsals. All really smart and asked great questions and give great feedback. Actors give such a different perspective to the role. The caliber of the talent we have is unbelievable.

Question: What would annoy you guys most in a musical?

Dimond: For better or for worse I am very story oriented. I like plot and structure and I am frustrated by musicals that sacrifice story for the sake of visual. My mind tends to wander. I get a little ADHD about that sort of thing.

Kooman: I don't like theatre that has zero comedy in it. I enjoy balance and contrast, I find it hard to relate to shows that have zero or very little comedy.

Question: Whats next for you guys?

Kooman: We have two shows at the Kennedy Center: Orpheus and The Book of Heros, which is sort of greek mythology with a modern contemporary sensibility and we're are working on another unnamed commission.