MITF has Katrin’s Barbarians


THE ELBISNOPSERS written by Katrin Arefy, directed by Tana Sirois; starring Ann Herberger, Patrick Hamilton, and Shelley Valfer. It’s about Barbarians and it’s about you! A true story! Performance Schedule: Wed 11/16, 7:45pm; Fri 11/18, 6:00pm; Sun 11/20, 12:30pm

Sounds surreal… because it is. Katrin Arefy elaborates

1. We hear a lot about inspiration – or Muse – that drives an artist. What inspires you?

People inspire me. Observing how they live their everyday lives inspires me. I can hear a phrase from a random person, store it in my inspiration box, and a piece of writing can grow out of that phrase, sometimes years later.

Tell us about why you wrote this.  

I wrote The Elbisnopsers because I was struggling with the question what is the answer to Islamic extremism. But then when I started to write, the play turned in a different direction, and I followed it. The play ended up questioning whether we care about anything that’s even a little beyond our noses and If we even know much about that “other” that we are so scared of.

What do you want most in your chosen profession? It’s OK to say “fame” or “wealth.”

I want it to make a difference in the world, and I want it to touch generations. My goal is to create something that is timeless, and my dream is that one day, our great-grandchildren will look at the art and literature of our time and say, “Wow, people had to struggle with strange problems in the twenty-first century!” My dream is that what we are suffering from today becomes impossible for children of the future to even imagine. But that might require some GMO work on human genes! 

Sally Field and Paul Newman both said of their profession… “it’s all I can do.” Is this all you can do?

I can relate to that answer because for years I used to say, “Yes, this is all I can do” when people asked me if I still taught piano. It feels really good to see that I can do more than one thing. I am a classically trained piano teacher. That is my profession. Writing is my vocation.

Along those lines, if you couldn’t so this, what would you do?

Hmm…I don’t know. This talent was given to me. If I couldn’t do this, I would have probably been given another talent to pursue, and I might have loved that. But writing is my gift, and I am grateful for what I was given.

How do you want [legit] history to remember you?

I am still at the beginning of my writing career, but if I live long enough to achieve what I wish to achieve, I want to be remembered as a writer whose work is timeless.

Last words?

I want to thank Tana Sirois the talented director who is working on my play THE ELBISNOPSERS. She made it so easy for me to produce the play for the festival, and I am looking forward to seeing how she interprets my work.



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