Director Sean Christopher Lewis tells us his thoughts on Kimberly Akimbo:
"I read Kimberly Akimbo for the first time about ten years ago and at the time didn't think much of it. And to be honest over the summer when Jody approached me with the idea of directing it I was a little hesitant. I had thought of the play as a bit of a gimmick in the past. A teenager who looks much older than she is- played by an older actor but attempting to present the foibles of high school- it seemed like a show for Comedy Central on synopsis alone.
What a difference ten years can make.
I re-read it this summer and was surprised how much of myself I was finding in Kimberly's story. There are times- and maybe in the cold Iowa winters we each feel a bit like this- that isolation can creep up on us. And isolation for me is the scariest thing there is, it's what makes people change for the worse, to retreat and shut off. I never forgot how isolating high school was, that reminder I did not need. But I had no idea how isolating adulthood would be. And so Kimberly's story, a woman aging preternaturally, trying to get the chance to be young, to be beautiful, to be carefree, to be part of the experience she thought she would be included in... this spoke volumes. Sounds tragic, however, Mr. Lindsay-Abaire is too smart for that.
The humor is a salvation in this place. It is survival. Much like in his other plays from Rabbit Hole to Good People, Lindsay-Abaire might be the best observer of modern loneliness we have. However, he gives us what we need in these plays. He offers us a friend, a community, a chance to sit in a darkened room, safely, with other people who may feel like we do, and he lets us laugh." –Sean Christopher Lewis
Sean Christopher Lewis is the Artistic Director of Working Group Theatre. His work has won the Kennedy Center’s Rosa Parks Award, NEA Voices in Community Award, Smith Prize, Barrymore Award and numerous other awards. With Riverside he has directed Mary’s Wedding, Goat Show, Marion Bridge, Venus in Fur, The Syringa Tree and Manning Up. He has also directed for the Centre X Centre International Theatre Festival in Rwanda and at the Institut Del Teatre in Barcelona. You can find out more at seanchristopherlewis.com