We are thrilled to announce Aaron Kozak, our new Director for VFC Jr. at Fringe Family this June! To introduce him we asked him a few questions about himself and of course what he knows about Chornobyl.
JW: Before becoming involved in this project what did you know about Chornobyl?
AK: Basically, I was familiar with the event itself, when/where it
happened, and I’d also seen “The Door,” which was a short film
nominated for an Oscar in 2010 about a family suffering from the fall
out. The science and logistics of it all are a complete mystery to me,
however. I know very little about nuclear power, and I’ve definitely
only seen the surface of the tragedy.
JW: What other projects / shows have you worked on in Los Angeles; where might
we have seen your work before?
AK: At last year’s Hollywood Fringe Festival, I produced a play called
The Birthday Boys, which I also wrote and directed. That show was
later done by Theatre Unleashed, and since then I’ve become their
playwright in residence, so hopefully, you will see more original
works of mine via them. I produced a web series called the Hollywood
Blog Show, which spanned a few years of content, but is now being
redeveloped. I’ve also directed four feature films, and my latest,
“The Show Businessman,” was an official finalist of the Las Vegas Film
JW: How did you first hear about and then become involved in VFC?
AK: Rachel Stoll and I became good friends at the festival, and she threw
me a bone.
JW: What are you most excited about in taking on the role of director for Voices
From Chornobyl Jr at Fringe?
AK: Cindy’s passion for the deeper meaning of the project is very exciting
to me. When you work with a greater purpose than meeting an agent or
networking, the creative process is exponentially richer and the
product is generally much better in the end. I also think it will be
fun to play with the staging. Cindy’s script is pretty loosey goosey
with the physical action, and I really like that. The trick is not to add too much though, because we don’t want to in anyway interfere with her voice.
JW: What challenges do you anticipate?
AK: Working with actors I don’t really know is always a challenge. Trying
to get them to a place where they, myself and the audience are all
thrilled with their performance. I don’t really see traditional
“challenges” when it comes to making theatre because it’s like going
on vacation for me. I just love playmaking so much, and I think when
you bring that attitude to the stage, everything feels easy and free.
A message from Aaron:
I look forward to this experience, and I hope everyone will come
support us at the Fringe. It will be a very compelling hour of art and
discussion, and in light of the recent tragedy in Japan; I think it
behooves everyone to be better informed about nuclear power. To be
honest, I’m not well informed on the subject, and will enjoy using
this directing opportunity to learn.
Playwright Aaron Kozak has been doing theater for 20 years, debuting in “Camelot” in 1990 at the Lamplight Theatre in Nacogdoches, Texas. Since then, he’s performed in over forty plays, 7 feature films, and countless shorts. He wrote, produced, directed, edited and starred in”The Show Businessman,” which was selected as an official finalist of the 2010 Las Vegas Film Festival. His directing/editing credits include Ebay’s Regifting Campaign with Andy Richter, Revelle Studios’ “Star Mashers,” MTV’s “True Life,” “The Night Audit,” “Basketball Shorts,” “The Chinnedy’s,” and “Savages.” As a playwright, he was privileged to be affiliated with the International Fringe circuit. His play “Goodbye, Love. Goodbye, Joy. Hello, Travis McElroy.” was performed at the Capital Fringe Festival in Washington, DC; and his play THE BIRTHDAY BOYS will be making its New York debut in late 2011/early 2012.