Jeremy Dobrish Pop-Culture Puck: Maturity Pursues a Scrappy Director-Producer. (Profiles)

By Renner, Pamela | American Theatre, April 2003 | Go to article overview

Jeremy Dobrish Pop-Culture Puck: Maturity Pursues a Scrappy Director-Producer. (Profiles)


Renner, Pamela, American Theatre


The door-prize this season is a pair of pointy Fun-Gum fangs--the better to suck your blood, my dear!--which serve as ticket stubs to aid your entry into the Transylvanian portals of Todd Miller's Ghoul, Adobe Theater Company's newest offering. But lest you begin to sink into a pleasant funk of Rocky Horror Show--fueled nostalgia for the glory days of the 8th Street Playhouse in New York City, here is Adobe's director-producer Jeremy Dobrish at the door. He greets audience members like old friends (some, in fact, are, at this stage in the company's history) and offers an account of his 16-month-old daughter Clea's latest exploits.

He looks and sounds remarkably like the proud new father that he is. Tim Curry, eat your heart out. This downtown deity knows how to change a diaper, and he's not hiding his light beneath a bushel-basket. "I love being a father, and it has certainly affected my work on a practical level," Dobrish says. "I cut meetings a lot shorter. I've started to think more about the future. I'd like to write plays that my daughter will read and be proud of. That raises the bar for me.

"In addition to fatherhood, I definitely think marriage affected my writing," he goes on. "I understood what faith and love mean differently as part of a twosome, after I had been married. That created a different arc in my writing."

For someone whose company has produced such Dumpster-chic comedies as Poona the Fuckdog and Other Plays for Children (Not a Play for Children) and the irreverent romantic satire Duet, a Romantic Fable, Dobrish, at 35, sounds positively sanguine about the prospect of maturity. "You get to a point where you say: 'Should our mission statement still be to appeal to audiences in their twenties? Or is there another theatre company behind us who can do that better?"'

Puckish and goateed, Dobrish hardly strikes one as an avatar of midlife sobriety. But he's apparently serious about being serious. Even at rest, Dobrish is springy and light-footed, with a former-magician's quickness in his movements. Though he retired from doing magic tricks decades ago, the founder of Adobe keeps his electronic pager (a Handspring Trio T-mobile unit) close at hand, letting it bleep and buzz mysteriously with constant reminders of his frenetic rehearsal schedule. He's hopelessly devoted to the magical, illogical logic of the theatre and seems to thrive on having a half-dozen directing and writing gigs hatching at any one time.

"When you writ; it's so open and free and vast," he says. "You can write anything--whatever you want. And that freedom is terrific until you start thinking, 'God, I'd like a job. I'd like to be in the theatre working on a play that's happening, instead of this amorphous thing that I'm writing."' His latest play, a reverse-chronological study of a concentric circle of urban marrieds called Eight Days (Backwards), is being mounted Off Broadway in June by the Vineyard Theatre under the direction of Mark Brokaw. While the cast and management of Adobe still hosts a pay-what-you-will open bar for their audiences after each performance, these days the party tends to die down rather suddenly at around 10 p.m.--a sign, Dobrish suspects, that even the Gen-X theatre crowd knows when it's time to head home, pay the sitter and turn on the Daffy Duck nightlight.

"The people who grew up on MTV as I remember it, when they played music videos--they don't watch MTV anymore," Dobrish observes.

The culture of ephemera--lampooned so affectionately by Dobrish in one of his most appealing plays, Orpheus and Eurydice, about the unlikely marriage of a rock star and a reticent wood nymph--has continued to evolve, faster than a speeding bullet. Pop culture does that habitually, and Dobrish has proven his zest for capturing that slipperiness on stage.

IN PLAYS LIKE ORPHEUS AND The Handless Maiden, Dobrish has proven adept at knitting together a comic tissue of contemporary realities, in which the tiny bright threads of myth and fairy tale adhere and are interwoven with recognizable parallels within modern-day relationships. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Jeremy Dobrish Pop-Culture Puck: Maturity Pursues a Scrappy Director-Producer. (Profiles)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.