Review Fix chats with playwright Antonia Kasper, who discusses her production, “45 Coffee Dates.” Detailing the creative process and goals for the production, she lets us know why it’s must-see theatre.
45 COFFEE DATES is the uproarious account of her hacking through the jungles of dating in the 21st Century. Looking for the rare treasure, Mr. Right, through a sea of Mr. Not-Rights; Mr. Wrongs; and Mr. What-The-Hell-Was-I-Thinkings, Rachel shares adventures that will leave you guffawing or at least nodding your heads in mutual disgust.
45 COFFEE DATES written and performed by Antonia Kasper (based on her book on sale in May), directed by Katherine Elliot, will entertain a limited run: April 6 & 7; 14, 19 & 20; 28 @ 7pm; April.15 & 29 @ 2:00 pm at The Players Theater (http://www.theplayerstheatre.com), 115 Macdougal Street, New York City, prior to the premier of the book on a national scale.
Review Fix: What was the inspiration for this project?
Antonia Kasper: My initial inspiration for meeting so many men in very little time (50 men in 90 days) was the urgency of my biological clock and possibly having a baby coupled with my sudden realization that I truly did want a husband. But my inspiration for writing the book and the show was to motivate and inspire other women (and men) that it’s never too late for self-discovery…or love! I believe a lot of women (and men) let their own personal baggage stop them from finding a healthy, happy relationship. Sometimes individuals (such as my past self) don’t recognize a healthy relationship and sabotage a potentially incredible partnership because it’s foreign to them or they are genuinely afraid of love and happiness. I wanted to share all my insecurities and obstacles to show people that even when all odds seem to be against you/them…that you can still find a way to persevere.
Review Fix: What’s your creative process like?
Kasper: Just like Dorothy Parker, I feel the same… “I hate writing. But love having written.” I usually write because I have strong opinions that I feel I need to get out of my system but sometimes I also think “this could help someone who may feel the same way I do.” Let them know they are not alone…whether it’s a funny situation or a more serious/sad scenario. With the book, I initially wanted to just share some funny dating stories that I had experienced. (Yes, much of the book is real life experiences) But then my father issues started coming down on the paper. Usually if I plan to write in one direction and something completely different starts to transpire, I let it. I think for all artists it’s important to never stop the process or you might not discover the diamonds in your work. The subconscious is powerful and many times makes one’s writing stronger or more significant. I also never edit myself until I “vomit” out all the words going on in my head. My best work sometimes comes after pages and pages of other stuff. In another project, I wrote one of my best monologues just because I was exhausted and didn’t have a clue what the character would say. The audience loved that one monologue. It gets an applause break every time. It’s a bit nonsensical but the character was tired and unsure what to say also…so it works. Music and the mood it sets also inspires me when writing.
Review Fix: What makes this different or special?
Kasper: Well, there is a ton of “bad dates” material out there but I think the father figure and the childhood I had reflected in my dating makes it different. I found when talking to other women that couldn’t find “a good guy” had a bad male role model (sometimes a female role model) had abandoned or abused them. I believe this is the same for many men too. So I hope my message speaks to those, like myself, that there are good potential mates in the world but we might have to retrain our thoughts and let go of our baggage to see or find them.
Review Fix: What did you learn about yourself through this process?
Kasper: I do poke fun of many dates in my show and book but also make fun of myself. I learned something about myself with every bad date…even if it was as simple as finding out what I didn’t want in a partner. Every man I met got me closer to my authentic self. So I did appreciate all those experiences. I learned that if you can “Fake it until you make it…real”… it eventually happens. The mind is so very powerful and faking my confidence actually made me more confident. If you are depressed or unhappy but pretend not to be and go out there as positive as you can…then people react more positively towards you. In turn, they fill you up with happiness and that can genuinely make you more confident. So I faked being positive and happy and made myself get out there and in turn, other people responded to me with their smiles, warmth, and acceptance…which made me genuinely more positive and happy.
Review Fix: What are your ultimate goals for this production and for the future?
Kasper: Off-Broadway is my next goal. Besides being funny, I hope my message is strong enough that it could also be helpful for women around the nation in colleges and women’s groups.
Ultimately I would like the book to be made into a movie. Because this project (and my other projects) are all women geared, I would be thrilled if a strong, successful woman in the industry such as Drew Barrymore, Sandra Bullock and/or Rita Wilson (who have their own production companies) would take interest in my project to get it out to the masses.
Review Fix: What’s next?
Kasper: The book release is next. And I can’t wait for that. I’m hoping to have the book out later this year (2018) so everyone who has or hasn’t seen the show can read more about my journey to self-discovery and Mr. Right. If anyone is interested in the book or show they can contact me at: 45CoffeeDates@gmail.com or go to our website: www.45coffeedates.com for more info. Ultimately I would like the audiences and readers to discover both the fun, sadness and poignancy of my message: “It’s never too late for self-discovery…or love.”