The holiday season seems to get blander every year. Sure, it’s supposed to be the “most magical time of year,” but when was the last time you remembered why? Critically-acclaimed director Jim Petosa explains the importance of Three Viewings—a trio of sharp monologues centered on love and loss set against the oncoming winter—amongst traditional holiday art.
How did you come across Three Viewings?
I knew [playwright] Jeffrey Hatcher’s work and I’d certainly heard of Three Viewings but I had not read it. A set designer friend of mine, Jim Noon, had done work for the play, and he spoke very highly of it. So I finally got a copy of the script and read it. I thought to myself, “This is really interesting … If I can get the right company it will be really fun to work on.”
The holidays mixed with a funeral parlor doesn’t necessarily go together for most people. How did you hope to communicate this story to the audience?
You look at certain [holiday story] standards, and it’s like—how many “Christmas Carols” can you have? I’ve found that there are certain of these types of plays that evoke a kind of bittersweet sensibility—family, memories, a wistfulness to that’s very much a part of the holidays. Three Viewings is a holiday story in that it is built on renewal and redemption. It’s grown-up holiday fare. There’s a lot of humanity in it.
Is Three Viewings over/under the Radio City Christmas Spectacular and why?
[Laughs] Over/under in terms of what?
I’d say in terms of “Christmas spirit.”
Radio City is spectacle of excess—I think what we have is kind of an intimate jewel box. They each have their place. One night you have sushi, the next you have Beef Wellington [laughs].
[Three Viewings, presented by the New Repertory Theatre. Sun 11.27.11-Sun 12.18.11. Black Box Theatre at Arsenal Center for the Arts, 321 Arsenal St., Watertown. Times vary/all ages/$35. 617.923.8487. @newrep. newrep.org]