Go Deeper

Philly Fringe Vital Stats: Lindsey Burkland and Nick Allin

Posted September 7th, 2011

Amedee or How to Get Rid of It photographLindsey Burkland, 24, and Nick Allin, 28, created puppets from scratch in order to put on Eugene Ionesco’s play, Amédée or How to Get Rid of It. By working on the puppets together, they found out that Lindsey is not good at manipulating wire, and Nick doesn’t work well with fabric.  Together they also decided on body types, juxtapositions of sizes, and fabric choices, causing a continuous dialogue about the puppets as they were being made. Main characters Amédée and Madeleine have lived shut up in their apartment for fifteen years along with a growing corpse, which created a dead space, so Nick and Lindsey chose abandoned offices that will serve as a nonprofit headquarters sometime in the future as their venue.

Lindsey explains their unique choices: “we’ve chosen puppets because they fit our concept. We’re not necessarily interested in working with puppets, but rather letting the form of the production be a working-through of the stuff inside it. Here, we’ve been thinking about performance itself. Who owns it? We think we’re in control of the characters we create, but we end up being caught in their world—we can’t speak unless they’re speaking, can’t move unless they require us to.”

After the jump: Our questions. Also, the Confederate flag is a flashpoint? Who knew?

What was the first thing you stole?
Nick: A little two-pack of crackers from the soup station at a grocery store in Virginia.  I felt very guilty about it, but never told anyone, and never stole again.

What’s your favorite alcoholic beverage?
Nick: White Russian with Chambord.  I invented this and call it the Nikolai.
Lindsey:  Yuengling and Patron Margaritas.

What was the last performance you saw?
Nick and Lindsey: Our great friend Meredith Rich in her first Off-Broadway staged reading!

What’s your favorite Philly intersection?
Lindsey: I like 9th and Market – that is the way my mom used to drive me home from musical theater camp when I was younger. When I’m on it now I think about all that has happened and how I’ve grown in the years. Oh, nostalgia.

If you were a “Founding Father,” which one would you be and why?
Lindsey: John Jay – least known I think, and yet the first Supreme Court Justice. He’s kind of like a secret founding father. I like the idea of having an important job but not being on the tip of everyone’s tongue.

Do you care about the Civil War Sesquicentennial?
Nick: I really don’t.  But this is because I lived seven years in the South, where some pockets of the population still wave confederate flags and say things like, “The Civil War was really about states’ rights.”

Lindsey: I don’t often think about that specifically. Rather I do think about the way society functions and the way people function in it. I agree with Nick about the confederate flag – that annoys me so much! I had a friend in high school from Georgia who put one up in her room and it perplexed me – I never understood how to her it meant she had pride in where she came from and to me it seemed like pro-slavery or something…guess I’m a Yankee.

What’s your least favorite country, and why?
Nick: The eventual country which the Tea Party will secede to form.
Lindsey: I fully support Nick’s answer!

If you weren’t an artist, what would your job be?
Nick: Bartender.  I like social situations that busy my hands.  This is why Amédée is such a good play for me.

Lindsey: I would do consulting work for companies. My college years were spent studying communication and business, and essentially how to get others to communicate their needs and messages effectively.

What’s the most disgusting thing you’ve ever seen on SEPTA?
Nick: A bus driver passing by a person in a wheelchair waiting at a stop.

Amédée or How to Get Rid of It runs through September 10 at the Sovereign Building, 714 Market Street. Times vary, $15. All performances are wheelchair accessible.

–Christina Snyder