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Cassandra Snow & Immanuel Elliott

June 3, 2013
Gadfly Theatre
Minnesota has a long tradition of activist theatre – maybe it’s something about long cold winters and steamy summers that makes creativity and social politics come together. We’re thrilled to kick off Gay Pride Month by featuring two up and coming queer and feminist theatre entrepreneurs and activists who are continuing this tradition. Cassandra Snow and Immanuel Elliott founded Gadfly Theatre Productions to provide an artistic haven for audiences and artists, a place to explore, create, and open safe dialogues about queer and feminist issues. Gadfly Theatre Productions is in their third season of experimental theater.

The next show written in house by the Gadfly founders is QUEER!, which premiers June 9 at Augsburg College’s BECAUSE Conference 2013, and will run June 28th-July 14th, 2013 at the Lowry Lab in St. Paul. Check out these committed artists and their band of collaborators. They’re on the right side of history.

1. What is your hometown?

Immanuel

I was born and raised in Elizabethton, TN, but I like to think of Minneapolis as my home.

Cassandra

I was primarily raised in Spartanburg, SC but have lived all over the place. I found myself in Forest City, IA–and yes, I know how pretentious that sounds.

2. With what fictional character do you most identify?

Immanuel

Right now it’s Max Blum from the TV show Happy Endings. Much like him, I can also fit 32 marshmallows in my mouth.

Cassandra

When I think about coming out, moving away from the Bible belt, etc. I always feel like Alice (as in “In Wonderland”)–with the noted difference being my choice to stay in Wonderland.

3. In the movie of your life, cast an actor to play you.

Immanuel

Seth Rogan. Or Fozzie Bear. Either are good.

Cassandra

Amy Poehler– or Miss Piggy if we’re going the Muppet route.

4. What work of art speaks to your soul?

Immanuel

Most of it. If it doesn’t, then it isn’t art.

Cassandra

There’s a street artist named “Swoon” does sensual, effective things on found cardboard and the like. She takes trash, and she uses it as a mouthpiece, makes it beautiful. She’s wonderful.

5. What books are you currently reading or recommending?

Immanuel

Oh, books. My first friends. So many to choose from. I’m super obsessed with Jim C. Hines’ Princess series right now. It’s a wonderful retelling of classic fairy tales that place the women in complete control of there own destinies. It’s an exciting reminder that a woman’s story doesn’t end with marriage.

Cassandra

I would second the Jim C. Hines stories…I am such a book hoarder-fanatic-crazy person that this is by far the hardest question. My go-to’s for recommendations are either Kate Bornstein, Neil Gaiman, Alison Bechdel, or Pablo Neruda, depending on your taste or interest.

6. What song or album is currently in heavy rotation on your iPod?

Immanuel

 I was lucky enough to catch Mika in concert at the Varsity Theater in Minneapolis a while back. The man is amazing live, and ever since the concert I’ve had his new album, The Origin of Love on repeat in my iPod.

Cassandra

New David Bowie! Or Fiona Apple’s “Idler Wheel” album.

7. What’s the last movie that made you cry?

Immanuel

I never used to cry at movies. I couldn’t. But then I saw “The Muppets.” I don’t know what it was, but that movie unlocked something in me. Now I cry at everything. I cried at “Perks of Being a Wallflower”, but that makes sense. What doesn’t is when I cried at “Aladdin” last night.

Cassandra

Uh, I cry at every movie. And book. And most episodes of most t.v. shows. And don’t get me started on plays or concerts. I suppose the biggest one lately was 2010’s “Dirty Girl” starring Juno Temple.

8. Cat person or dog person?

Immanuel

You can’t be two things?

Cassandra

What is this, Sophie’s Choice? I need all the animals.

9. What is more important, truth or kindness?

Immanuel

I feel that if you take truth and temper it with kindness you get something far more important than either. Honesty.

Cassandra

Kindness should be a given on how people live their lives–truth is harder to crack and the real secret to changing the world.

10. How do you define sin?

Immanuel

Fictitious.

Cassandra

Intentionally hurting other people, or being thoughtless and not caring that you’re hurting other people.

11. How do you define virtue?

Immanuel

I think the ability to ease pain and suffering, either through prevention or healing, is the most virtuous thing a person can do.

Cassandra

Intentionally trying to make the world a better place, being there for those who are hurting, and understanding unconditional love.

12. Design your headstone: What does it say? What does it look like?

Immanuel

It would be a black obelisk that said, “Immanuel Elliott 1986- “I told you the Philosopher’s Stone was real.” “

Cassandra

It would be decorated with inside jokes from my loved ones, and it would read “She came, she saw, and she helped create the world she wanted to come and see instead. She was also really fun.”

Bonus Question: Who would you like to see answer these questions?

Immanuel

Sharon Needles. I love her.

Cassandra

Any drag queen or king who’s been doing it a long time. Anyone I mentioned in this interview. Jim Henson.

Connections:

Gadfly Theatre Productions
@gadflytheatre

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