As a playwright, Max’s work includes You Deserve Me (Wax Wings Productions), Sometimes A Kumquat Is Just A Kumquat (Silver Spring Stage, Abingdon Theatre), The Thing About Pants (Boston Actors Theater) and Todd Honey (Royall Tyler Theatre). His new full-length play, You Deserve Me, is receiving a staged reading with Wax Wings Productions this spring. As a dramaturg, Max has provided support to productions in Minnesota, Vermont, and Boston, his favorites including 44 Plays For 44 Presidents (Bad Habit Productions), The Caretaker, A Christmas Carol, Writer 1271 (Guthrie Theater), Phaedra’s Love (Red Letter Theater) and The Minneapolis Pinter Studies (Mixed Precipitation Theatre). In addition to being a founding Core Member of Project: Project, Max is also a founder of Interim Writers, a Boston-based collective dedicated to fostering and developing area playwrights.
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What was the first piece of technology you remember using? What was your favorite (or least favorite) thing about it?
The first piece of technology I remember using is a double cassette deck that also had radio. What was great about it was you could play cassettes, including at the time Will Smith and Green Day’s Dookie, and simultaneously record whatever you were playing onto another cassette. So if you wanted just one song from a tape (i.e. “Welcome To Paradise”), you could just record that song onto the other tape. This was the same way with the radio. This was really my first experience not just in listening to music, but also foreshadowed my now life long obsession with cataloguing and arranging music. The one drawback was that CDs were becoming increasingly prevalent at the same time, and once I saw that you could skip songs in a CD, tapes just felt . . . meh.
What piece of obsolete technology do you still use? Why?
My Apple PowerBook G4 laptop. Got it freshman year of college (September 2004), and it’s still chugging along, though I can’t stream Netflix, and Google can’t keep up with my typing. But every single play I’ve ever written was done on it, so you’d have to take it from me kicking and screaming.
What is your favorite social network and why?
would have to go with Facebook, though reluctantly. Though I think it perpetuates a lot of negative human qualities, such as petty jealousy and insecurities, it’s amazing at allowing people to share and promote events. I feel like I’m so much more in tune with what my friends and colleagues are doing, and it enables me to see more shows, concerts, and plays. Basically, it creates an amazing social and artistic calendar.
What has been your most moving experience with technology? Were you overwhelmed, touched, in awe?
For me, the most moving time of my life was the coincidental timing of the release of Napster and my family’s acquiring of Cable-modem internet. For the first time in my life, I was no longer restricted to what was being played on mainstream, suburban radio nor to what I was able to buy on CD, oftentimes taking a gamble on an entire album based on the appeal of one song or single. Suddenly, I had access to seemingly infinite songs and albums, and I’ve always been an “album” guy, to me a great album being immeasurably more impressive than a great song. It felt like my whole world opened up. I remember the night where the federal courts ruled that Napster was illegal, and my sister and I stayed up all night, downloading as much music as we could think of, at seemingly lightning speed, for fear that this resource was going to be removed forever at any second. This is probably why I have so many Crosby, Stills, and Nash albums (and why my Gateway crashed so many times soon there after).
If you could add one new button to Facebook, what would it be?
If you were to create a 5-song mixed tape to share with the world via the Internet, what would be on it? What would you title it?
My mix tape would be the five songs I’ve loved the most through my life as follows, titled “Songs to Play Me Before I Die”:
Click to listen!
1) Talking Heads – “This Must Be The Place (Naive Melodies)” – the version from Stop Making Sense
2) Bob Dylan – “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright”
3) David Bowie – “Rock ‘N’ Roll With Me”
4) Pavement – “Gold Soundz”
5) Weezer – “My Name Is Jonas”