Meet-the-Artist: Will


Full Name:

Will Garrett Detlefsen

Projects I have been involved in with MPR:

Televise THIS!, BUILDINGS., The Birthday Party, YEAR of the HIPPO

How would I describe MultiPurposeRoom, in my own words?

It is my home-base. MultiPurposeRoom is my core family of friends and artists who have similar passions about this thing we call theatre. Our process is also so different from any other project I work on – I think because we have been together so long. These people are definitely collectively my longest romantic relationship.

How/when did I get started with MPR?

I created it with Molly Gillis shortly after seeing the TEAM’s Architecting and having my mind blown open. I had never devised a piece before, so I got 13 actors together one summer and told them I was obsessed with reality TV – and we went from there. I just make this stuff up.

What is my favorite MPR project?

YEAR of the HIPPO is definitely my most personal/autobiographical project, but I also think Televise THIS! could still have a life. Everyone in the company knows BUILDINGS was shaping up to be something I was not into, but the rest of the company is convinced that could be something great. And The Birthday Party was a unique gem of an experience for sure – definitely the most artistically satisfying.

How is MPR’s process different from other processes I’ve been a part of?

We usually have no clue what the thing will look like before we start a project. We always make a list of impossible things we want to see happen on stage on Day 1 of the rehearsal process. We throw around titles for weeks before “discovering” the title of the piece. We usually accumulate hours and hours of writing material before we figure out the theme or story of our plays.

Complete this sentence: I bet you didn’t know that MPR______

loves that people confuse us with NPR.

Where do I see MPR in 10 years?

Hopefully touring multiple shows, winning Obie awards, and teaching young artists the art of devising.

What do I hope MPR’s next project is?

A musical. Starring two 10-year-old kids.

What is most distinctive about MPR?

Our sex appeal.

What movie should have won Best Picture?

Zero Dark Thiry, no question. A close second: Amour

What is my favorite TV show?

I’m so terrible about TV because it is such a time-sucker, but I will say The Office till my death – I don’t care how much oomph they’ve lost this past season – my heart is in it.

What is my favorite book?

Seven Types of Ambiguity by Elliot Perlman haunts me. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand thrills me. Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace … oh wait – I STILL haven’t finished that epic, heavy, heavy monster.

What is my favorite album?

Currently? DAUGHTER.

What is my idea of the perfect date?

Being bored together with the person you love and feeling like you don’t want to be anywhere else.


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