photo by Sage Reed

Feature Article

Q & A with Larry Underwood

True to form Larry Underwood (Dr. Nicolaes Tulp, Formgiver) decided to answer our questions in the third person.

What is your role in Corpus Delicti: Just Desserts?
The word in Dutch is "vormgever" (formgiver). It is his charge to oversee the whole of the project while helping each contributor focus on their individual ideas. The initial idea for the show came from him. Larry has been working on this show for a number of years.

He started doing research on Dr. Tulp when he lived in Holland, creating theater with Dogtroep and Theatergroep Hollandia.

What was your first Local Infinities show?
Larry returned from Europe to work with Meghan Strell and through that contact began developing pieces for Local Infinities. Skin and Wax & Wayne are two examples of our work together. He performed an early version of Corpus Delicti at Infinitesimals: a brief look at the immeasurable, a festival that Meghan curated as an Artistic Associate at Links Hall in January 2005.

Where are you from?
Larry was born and raised in southern New Jersey and did time in an educational institution in the Midwest. He was released after six years. No time off for good behavior.

I see that you've done a lot of site-specific theater…
Larry likes working outside, from out of a tent. Outdoor locations, parks and forests, beaches and parking lots are all beautiful springboards for theatrical events.

What aspect of Corpus Delicti: Just Desserts are you most looking forward to?
Larry looks forward to the feeling of the first cut of the knife through the cool gelatin of the body. His goal is to find a way for the audience to see the soul leaving the body as it is opened.

What are your creative influences?
Larry enjoys work that challenges the artist as well as his/her audience. He thinks it's important that some risk is involved and shared between the public and the person on stage.

How would you describe your creative process?
Larry views the process as a very round-table thing. To be able to harness everyone's ideas to create one performance based on each artist's personal creative goals.

What is your favorite color?
Larry's favorite color is burgundy

What do you like to read?
Larry reads anything and everything by Richard Pratchett. When he's not reading something about the seventeenth century, of course.

What's your favorite movie?
Larry has a soft spot for Klaus Kinski films and Fitz Calraldo in particular. There's something about trying to push a steamboat over a mountain that is magnificent to dream and even more astonishing to achieve for the camera. He's been known to sit for hours watching It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World, over and over and over again.

What was your favorite Halloween costume and your favorite Halloween flicks?
Larry once dressed up as one end of a clothes line tied to a brother at the other end. The only movies for Halloween are ReAnimator and From Beyond…"it bit off his head like a gingerbread man."

What music do you like to listen to?
Larry has a taste for swing, from Oompah marching bands like MaestroMatic and Sâlt the Band, to eclectic Ukuele music of Hawaii.

What three dead people would you most like to meet?
Larry's not sure he'd like to meet any dead people at this moment, as he's not sure if he'd be pissing them of right now. Besides, they'd be all smelly and look pretty bad, wouldn't they?

Do you have any party tricks?
Larry is envious of a man, who when asked this question at the end of an audition, unscrewed his left leg from the knee down, and hopped around.

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