Sunday, July 29, 2012 Q&A with Enough's Enough! writer Michael Thomas Cain

Enough's Enough!:
Michael Thomas Cain

An FringeNYC Q&A

Q: What is your job on this show?
A: Playwright

Q: When did you know you wanted to work in the theater, and why?
A: When I was in college. I was always a shy, misunderstood kid. Never really had many friends or was involved with very much. When I started college, I didn't know what my major should be or future would turn out to be. But I had it in the back of my mind that I wanted to try theatre, so that's what I did. And I found a place where I made friends, belonged, and could truly express myself. I knew that I was home and that I never wanted to live without it. Through the years, I have had struggles and obstacles, but I've never been able to turn away or leave.

Q: Why did you want to be part of FringeNYC?
A: Enough's Enough! is a strange and absurd play that has very strong social and political themes, and I knew that the material needed a special home. Others have expressed an interest in the material, but I don't think that the play fit within their missions. I'm happy and proud that FringeNYC recognized the work and is allowing me to present this piece that is very dear to my heart. And I've always felt as if I'm on the fringe waiting to get in, but if this community has accepted my artistic value with open arms, maybe I'm right where I need to be.

Q: In your own words, what do you think this show is about? What will audiences take away with them after seeing it?
A: I hope that they take away awareness. I want them to leave wanting to quit their jobs the next day out of frustration. Ted and Monica, the characters in Enough's Enough!, are trapped in an office space 24/7 for years, and they are not allowed to do anything other than work. After thirty years of this, Ted has lost hope and wonders if he'll ever be allowed out. Monica has only been in the environment for ten years, and she clings to the hope that there's more to life than survival. The two try to find a human connection, but doing anything other than work has consequences. Enough's Enough! is a strange, grotesque, and absurd look at corporate greed's exploitations.

Q: Which famous New Jerseyite would like your show the best: Snooki, Bruce Springsteen, Thomas Edison?
A: Bruce. I hope because I've been a big fan of Bruce Springsteen for a very long time. But I usually attach a certain type of music to most projects that I'm working on. A style of music can become the mascot for a piece that I'm creating because it gives me the motivation and emotion that I need to continue on with the story. If you think of Springsteen's music in terms of themes, much of his music captures the loneliness, isolation, struggle, anger, and hope that is represented in Enough's Enough! Also, this play is about people who struggle to survive, are trying to get by, and are trying to find just a small amount of happiness in an unclear world. And I feel that those elements are found in Springsteen's music. Springsteen's music has always touched my soul, and I think the soul that he has given me or that I feel in his music is captured in this play.

Q: Can theatre bring about societal change? Why or why not?
A: I hope so. That's a major reason why I do it. I've been involved with theatre in some capacity for a very long time, but the older I get, the more I realize who I am and what it is that I'm trying to express. Over a period of time, I've grown to learn that writing is one of my strongest forms of expression. And as a result, I'm able to create plots, characters, and environments that speak to the human condition. For me, theatre is still a major form of expression and place for people to explore and grow. In my opinion, theatre should not just be entertainment. Theatre is a place to laugh, cry, feel a range of emotions, think, discover something new about yourself, or remember something that already lives inside of you. Many of my plays do have some form of a social, political, and economic message. I do not decide that. It happens because I have something important to say, and as a result, I hope that people will take the time to hear my voice and find a way to relate it to their own thoughts, feelings, and beliefs. Even if we disagree. I always hope that we're interacting in a way that's meaningful.

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