One Manhattan Parent to Another: An Interview with Director Daniel Goldstein

Huntington Director of New Work Lisa Timmel, who splits her time between Boston and New York City, recently chatted with Daniel Goldstein, the director of God of Carnage, about life as a new parent.

When we hired you to direct God of Carnage you were single and childless. Now you're a married man with a six-week old child, not to mention you've directed Godspell, which opened on Broadway in November. So, what's that been like for you?

It's crazy circumstances. We had a baby a week away from tech for my first Broadway show. I left work on a Saturday and I came back on a Tuesday and I had a kid. All of a sudden I was a different person. It is funny, who plans these things?

Part of the comedy of this play rests on the kind of competition and judgment parents are subject to. Have you felt any of that yet?

Oh, completely. Even before you have a kid, you have to decide what kind of birth experience you want to have and that is fraught with judgment. Then you think you're going to be a parent who, say, believes in public education. But once the baby is born, you're worrying about filing an application to get her into the right preschool that will get her into the right private school that will get her into the right college. It's easy to get sucked in.

The parents in God of Carnage are awfully infantile. Michael whines that "Children consume our lives and then destroy them . . . When you see those laughing couples casting off into the sea of matrimony, you say to yourself, they have no idea, poor things." Do you feel you were sufficiently warned by your friends on the other side of the parenting divide?

The one thing that annoyed me was the jerks that would smugly say "Just you wait. Get your sleep now. It's gonna change your life for ever. Just you wait. You don't even know." I hate those people. I hate them with a vengeance. We all know the kids are going to change our lives. That's why you have a kid — to change your life. It's hard, but Michael's looking at it the wrong way. I was getting four hours of sleep a night in the middle of the craziness with Godspell. I could say that it's a problem, or I could say I get to go do a Broadway show and now I get to go home to my daughter, to the person I'm doing it all for. It's a matter of perspective.


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