As an official media partner of the 12th annual St-Ambroise Montreal Fringe Festival, Montreal Theatre Hub brings the #FringeBuzz in 2021 with an all-new interview series with artists from this year’s edition of the fest! In this Snapshot, we feature playwright, performer, director, and producer MARISSA BLAIR. After presenting a hit production of Antonin Artaud’s Spurt of Blood in 2019, she’s back at the Montreal Fringe in 2021 with several projects, including the world premiere of The Celebrity Obsession. Read our Q&A interview with the show’s creator in anticipation of its run from June 11-20 at Monument-National.
MONTREAL THEATRE HUB: What is the “The Celebrity Obsession“?
MARISSA: The Celebrity Obsession is about a celebrity fan who comes to terms with her psychosis in a performance using music, projections and live tattooing. The character questions if her extreme fandom has now become an unhealthy obsession. She places her life experiences and choices in direct link with a particular celebrity, and believes she’s uncovered a secret in which to live her best life in tandem with the celebrity… but it has its drawbacks.
MTH: What can audiences expect from the experience of seeing it?
MARISSA: Audiences can expect to finally know who the celebrity is! It’s a genuine, quirky and mildly creepy glimpse into the psychology of celebrity worship syndrome, while watching some live tattooing. There are musical interludes and projections.
Promotional image for The Celebrity Obsession by Marissa Blair
MTH: What was the idea and inspiration behind the piece?
MARISSA: I wanted to give a misunderstood person a way to communicate her obsession freely – to be able to confront the particular complications of her relationship with the celebrity in the presence of an audience. And for a long time I’ve had the idea of being tattooed onstage. I brought those two ideas together in this performance.
MTH: Why did you choose the Fringe as the place to premiere this work?
MARISSA: This was a great time and place to present this piece that I have been thinking about doing for about 5 years.
MTH: What has it been like trying to create a show during a pandemic?
MARISSA: Pretty much the same as if I were making it not during a pandemic, except we have to wear masks during rehearsal.
MTH: How does it feel to be back presenting on a live stage?
MARISSA: Exciting and terrifying. I love it.
Promotional video for The Celebrity Obsession by Marissa Blair
Marissa Blair is a Theatre-maker from Mont Clare, PA. She worked as a performance artist for many years in New York City earning a bachelor’s from The New School and an MA in Performance Studies from NYU. A director, playwright, and producer in Montreal, Marissa is also an administrator at Espace Freestanding Room, an organizer of Freefalling Monthly, and Artistic Director and co-founder of Mad Paradox.
The Celebrity Obsession presented by Marissa Blair plays from June 11-20 at Monument-National’s Studio Hydro Québec (1182 St-Laurent Boulevard). Tickets ($15.00) can be purchased online at www.montrealfringe.ca.
Read here all of the interviews in the Fringe Artist Snapshots series: