Music Feature

Free Range Thinking: Interview With Comedian Robert Dubac

by Adam Pelta-Pauls
Robert Dubac closes a special 4-week engagement at Ambler's Act II Playhouse.

Robert Dubac would like to draw your attention to something. It’s a pattern he’s noticed of late in the titles of some leading news anchors’ flagship shows: “’Geraldo at Large’ is a comment on an ego, ‘Nancy Grace’ has none… Anderson Cooper 360? Doesn’t that mean he talks in circles?”

Clearly, it’s getting to be a problem.

But what does this crazy society look like from the outside? What if someone came along, oblivious to all the hype, spin, and weasel words we deal with daily, and happened upon our alarmist lifestyle? What would it look like to them?

That’s what Mr. Dubac is trying to explore in his new show, Free Range Thinking, which ran most recently during a special four-week engagement at Ambler's Act II Playhouse. “People don’t like to be preached to unless they’re laughing. We’re so bombarded with false information these days, it’s time we think out of the box… [Free Range Thinking] is about taking a point of view with the media, and running with it.”

In the case of his new show, that point of view comes from a nameless man with amnesia, who finds himself stuck in our modern era of media inundation with no landmarks, no background, and no way out.

When asked about the use of language in his comedy, Dubac remarked, “Language is so hypocritical and abstract… No one is comfortable with nuance! [The difference between comedians and monologuers is] comedians will spend hours deciding whether to use ‘the’ or ‘a’ in a joke.

Although a veteran of stand-up comedy, having appeared regularly on Craig Ferguson’s The Late Late Show, Dubac says he prefers performing his own work in a theater to the more traditional stand-up  “…because there’s a beginning, a middle, and an end… [and] no one realizes they’re pissed off till they’re driving home.”

A student of the great Stanford Meisner, whom Dubac refers to as “a crabby old guy, but a brilliant teacher,” Dubac firmly believes that anything done onstage must be done under imaginary circumstances. For him, “Free Range Thinking is about what’s real and what isn’t.”

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