Five Playwrights, Five Voices: Interviews by Sharon J. Anderson
“Everything You Touch” by Sheila Callaghan
CATF: In the interest of full disclosure, I don’t know a thing about fashion. A client once asked me if my shoes were Ferragamos. I replied, “No, they’re mine.” Would you recognize a pair of Ferragamos?
Sheila Callaghan: No. I’m not a fashion maven. I’m pretty ignorant when it comes to labels. I know names, and I kind of stalk people on the Internet who have a fashion fetish. I’m sort of a voyeur of people who appreciate such things, but I am not an active appreciator myself. I don’t own one designer thing.
CATF: The following is from the opening to “Everything You Touch.” Victor, a ruthless fashion designer, is addressing a model: “When the model spits with rage, I want to feel that spittle. I want to smell your sweat. I want to taste your bile. I want my blood to boil. And I want to feel too overwhelmed after the experience to speak. This, to me, is the power of fashion.” Is this the power of fashion?
SC: No, it’s the power of art. Throughout the play, Victor sees what he does as a form of expression and a way of coping with a pretty devastating past rather than actually building clothes for people to put on their bodies. The play isn’t really about fashion even though fashion is the vehicle through which the play is communicated. It’s about family and art and what we compromise with one and what we sacrifice with the other.
To read the full interview, please see the magazine.