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Economic Crisis 101: Answers lie in the Dirty Math

Walker Evans Walker Evans
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Thursday marks the start of “Dirty Math”, the latest show from Available Light Theater, and the timing couldn’t be better. Our nation is facing the largest economic crisis we’ve seen in recent history, and “Dirty Math” is here to help answer some of the questions you might have. Once again, we chatted with Artistic Director Matt Slaybaugh to fill us in on this new production.

Walker Evans) In reading the short description for “Dirty Math” it sounds like a lot of questions about the current economic situation are being raised. Is the show going to help answer those questions for people, or play off the fact that there doesn’t seem to be any easy answers?

Matt Slaybaugh) This will answer a lot of questions. The show reaches all the way back to 1530 AD and draws a timeline, explaining in detail how we got into this mess. We are not shy, however, about the many challenges that we have ahead of us. “What do we do now?” is definitely the hardest question of all.

WE) I spotted a blog post a few weeks back on the Available Light website with your reading list of books discussing American economics, capitalism, and the stock market. Will attendees be expected to have some existing knowledge of economics coming into the show, or do you think they will get more out of it if they’ve done their homework in advance?

MS) “Dirty Math” is designed for people with little knowledge of technical economics, but the more you know, the more your knowledge will be rewarded. And when you leave you’ll want to learn more.

WE) I’m willing to bet that this topic is going to still be fairly fresh in everyone’s mind from the recent Jon Stewart / Jim Cramer battle. Do you think the timing of their spat is going to play well for people’s potential interest in attending “Dirty Math”?

MS) Absolutely. If you’ve been watching the Daily Show lately, you have a pretty good idea of where our heads are at. We’re mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore.

WE) We last spoke with you as your last show “The Internationalist” was getting started. How did it go?

MS) “The Internationalist” was a big hit. It was a challenging show for audiences and it was fantastic that so many people embraced it. We always provide that kind of experience – theatre that pulls you in and makes you work a little. Dirty Math will be much the same, but with more music and action. That’s right, my friends, it’s an action-packed show about the economy.

WE) Ha! I’m really looking forward to it! I’m also looking forward to how the auctioned off roles will fit into the performances. Can you tell us a bit about how that idea came about and what it’s going to mean for each performance of the show?

MS) It means the show’s going to be different every night. We have 7 guest actors, and they’ll each have their own take on the material. Once we realized we had the opportunity for cameo roles, we decided that selling them off would be good for our own economic outlook. We’re thrilled that so many people were interested in it.

The list of guests includes:

  • April 2 8pm – Daniel Fox (of Skreened.com)
  • April 3 8pm – Katie Harben
  • April 4 8pm – Sandy McIntyre
  • April 5 2pm – Ron Weber (an AVLT board member)
  • April 9 8pm – Pete McGinty (of Experience Columbus)
  • April 10 12pm – Artie Isaac (of SpeakerSite and our Board President)
  • April 10 8pm – John Lopez
  • April 11 8pm – Daniel Fox (of Skreened.com)

WE) Hopefully that will encourage some multiple viewings as well. You guys seem to have a pretty busy schedule with other events surrounding the shows as well. Cant you give us a quick rundown on those as well?

MS) We have a big list of special events for the show, including the Effit Lunch with boxed lunches from Tip-Top, CupKates night, and more. There’s info on our website, and a Facebook page for the show as well. As usual it’s recession-proof pricing – Pay What You Want.

WE) Well, once again, I’m looking forward to the show. Thanks for taking the time to fill us in!

“Dirty Math” starts on Thursday and runs on select dates through April 11. More details can be found online at DirtyMath09.com.

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