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Autobiographical play "The Nosebleed" invites audience members into "a space of reflection and healing"

Aya Ogawa, "The Nosebleed" creator, invites audiences into "space of reflection"
Aya Ogawa, "The Nosebleed" creator, invites audiences into "space of reflection" 02:30

NEW YORK -- A new autobiographical play at Lincoln Center explores the tense relationship between a father and child.

The main character in "The Nosebleed" deals with a difficult dad and that fractured relationship leads to regrets and healing after he dies. The show is based on the playwright's life with a distant, puzzling father, and explores the guilt from failing to have a memorial for him.

CBS2's Dave Carlin spoke to the darkly funny production's daring creator, Aya Ogawa.

"I know that the play will resonate for different people in different ways. Maybe they come from an immigrant family, maybe they have a difficult relationship with their father, maybe none of that, but I think that there are a lot of entry points into the story, and I hope that the play kind of allows them a doorway into a space of reflection and healing," Ogawa said.

The writer/director plays several characters, including the dad.

"I am working to cobble together my understanding of him and the gesture of embodying him, I think is ... kind of like the highest attempt that I can give him the honor that I would like to give him," Ogawa said.

They and the rest of the six-member cast make it a two-way street with the audience, posing questions about dads in general with a brief audience writing exercise and occasional show of hands. At one point, a cast member asks the audience to raise their hand if they have a dad, then raise their hand if they have a dad who has died.

Improvisational, confessional moments make each performance a little different.

"The audience can participate to whatever extent they feel comfortable, but the reason that that reach is there is because ... I need the audience to be present and be part of the sharing and telling of this story," Ogawa said.

They added, "I think that men ... are contending with expectations around masculinity and power and power dynamics, and my work is really making an attempt to unravel that and explore other expressions of what it means to be masculine, what it means to be a father, what it means to be a parent, what it means to be a human."

"The Nosebleed" is playing at Lincoln Center's Claire Tow Theater through Aug. 28.

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