Elizabeth Lucas develops new musicals for stage and film. A founder of the New York Musical Theatre Festival, her work spans a variety of genres. Her latest film, the rock musical Clear Blue Tuesday, was created in collaboration with a cast of actor/singer/songwriters from the worlds of rock, comedy, and Broadway theatre. Its story of seven Tuesdays, beginning with Sept. 11, 2001, has earned it multiple awards and a recent run at New York’s Quad Cinema.
stated: Your work stretches across several genres including musical theatre and rock music for both stage and film. How would you describe it?
ELIZABETH LUCAS: My work is eclectic to say the least—movie musical, horror flick, sci-fi movie, endless new musicals—but with some things in common, such as an appreciation for the absurd and strong narrative that’s not afraid of taking a joyride.
stated: You came to film from the theatre world. How did you get started? Growing up, did you always want to be an artist?
ELIZABETH LUCAS: Apparently I’ve been directing from a very early age. I recently discovered my first production notes in my mother’s basement, written when I was 8 years old.
stated: Amazing! I love the castle design renderings and your marketing plan to open on the anniversary of the film’s release–and that you even knew when that was. You were clearly driven to tell stories early on. What inspires your work today and keeps you coming back?
ELIZABETH LUCAS:My interest in film is a bit more recent, inspired by the resurgence of movie musicals. I saw Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Moulin Rouge, and Chicago come out at the same time, each with vastly different rules and aesthetics, and became very excited about what felt like pioneer territory.
stated: It did feel an old genre was new again. What was the thinking behind Clear Blue Tuesday>?
ELIZABETH LUCAS: I set out to make Clear Blue Tuesday with a topic in mind that I wanted to discuss and a set of guidelines based on my specific mix of skills. I loved creating an ensemble movie musical from scratch. We came up with something so uniquely specific to us that it was highly personal and unrepeatable. This is part of what I love about telling stories on stage or screen–each experience is a new world to invent and explore.
stated: Who and what inspires you?
ELIZABETH LUCAS:I am a very collaborative person, so I draw my greatest inspiration from the artists around me. When someone’s work taps into my own life experience, they become someone I want to work with.
GRACE ASKED ELIZABETH…
Grace Helbig, another featured stated artist and vlogger, asked Elizabeth…
GRACE: How has Glee affected / infected your work?
ELIZABETH: Glee has not influenced my work. I finished my movie musical before ever seeing an episode. I love Glee. They’ve done a great job of establishing a particular world with a particular set of rules that really work for them. I don’t see it as a formula to be copied, but a unique circumstance.
ELIZABETH ASKED JD…
Elizabeth asked JD Walsh, another featured stated artist, about his work…
ELIZABETH: It would seem that much of your work is designed to provoke an intellectual, non-narrative response, the absolute opposite of what I do. Do you agree with this statement? Why or why not? Do you see a potential narrative application of your work?