Q and A with Larry Moss
By Rose Desena
Larry Moss really needs no introduction. A stellar acting coach and director with successful accomplishments a mile long, he has coached stars like Helen Hunt, Leonardo Di Caprio and — in her own words — was responsible for Hilary Swank winning her Oscar for “Boys Don’t Cry.”
Moss is a New Yorker with theater in his DNA, which is lucky for us here in Los Angeles. With so much good theater around, he could be kept very busy. It really means a lot to the L.A. theater community to have such a prominent director step into our intimate theater spaces. He recently directed the Australian Theatre Company’s Los Angeles premiere of Holding the Man, which received rave reviews and many positive comments about his ability to work his actors to their maximum potential. I am pleased to say he is back for an encore, directing the Los Angeles premiere of In A Dark Dark House by Neil LaBute. In this compelling drama, LaBute walks the dark side, exposing family dysfunction as two brothers come to terms with the emotional and physical abuse they endured growing up.
I was very curious about Moss and why he is interested in directing this particular play, so I put together a little Q and A.
Rose: Hi Larry, wow! It’s an honor.
Larry: For me too. Thank you so much.
Rose: It’s really nice to have you here in L.A. directing theater. What do you think about L.A.’s theater scene?
Larry: I think it’s growing, because the younger actors are realizing the absolute necessity of being live in front of an audience and how it betters their talent. I think they are attracted to writers like Neil LaBute, John Patrick Shanley, Stephen Adly Guirgis and other contemporary writers. When you read great playwrights it makes you hungry to get on a stage and say those words, and I think there is a growing energy in Los Angeles like never before.
Rose: Why this play? What’s special about it (besides being written by a brilliant writer!)?
Larry: When I saw this play in 2007 it struck a very personal cord in me because of events I experienced in my own family. And I felt the writing was brave, raw and truly funny.
Rose: What is the one thing you want most from the actors?
Larry: Their hearts, minds, vitality and courage.
Rose: It seems like the subject of family dysfunction is very mainstream now. Back in the ‘60s it was pretty much only discussed with therapists. What do you think has changed?
Larry: Society has become aware that a great deal of our relationship to ourselves and the world starts with our immediate family. Our family stays inside of us our whole lives and there is no escape from the terror and joy of being parents and children.
Rose: What would you like to see the audience get out of this?
Larry: Self-reflection and compassion.
Rose: I am very intrigued, and I am looking forward to the opening. What’s next for you? Anything special you’d liked to mention?
Larry: Next is a film I am going to direct about the actor Montgomery Clift written by Christopher Lovick, a one woman show called SCAR by Christina Helena and a musical STOP THIS TRAIN starring Clint Holmes.
Rose: Every year, hundreds of people pour into L.A. in search of stardom. Can you offer a few words of wisdom for them?
Larry: Read the great plays; see the great films from the past. Don’t be entitled and lazy, and think about what you have to give to the world as opposed to take.
Rose: Oh, just one more thing! We are both New Yorkers, so I know you will understand this. Are you a Yankee fan or a Mets guy?
Larry: Yankees of course
Rose: Thank you so much, Larry. It was a pleasure. Break a leg!
I think this is going to be a brilliant production, so here are the details. Stay tuned for the reviews.
In A Dark Dark House
Written by Neil LaBute
Directed by Larry Moss
July 23-Aug. 31, 2014
Wednesday at 8 p.m. July 23 ONLY (preview) Thursday at 8 p.m.: July 24 (preview), 31; Aug. 7, 14, 21, 28 Fridays at 8 p.m.: July 25 (preview); Aug. 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 Saturdays at 8 p.m.: July 26 (opening); Aug. 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 Sundays at 3 p.m.: July 27*; Aug. 3*, 10, 17, 24, 31 *A Q & A with the cast will follow the matinee performances on July 27 and Aug. 3.
Matrix Theatre 7657 Melrose Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90046s
323-960-7612 or www.darkhousela.com