Interview | American Phantasmagoria


Script: American Phantasmagoria (

Writer: Daniel P Quinn

Daniel P Quinn was Guest Adjudicator at SUNY/Brockport; Dublin Theatre Festival; Guest Director at Teatro Trianon in Rome. Worked Off-Broadway to Lincoln Center Theatre; Bickford Theatre; Foundation Theatre; Park theater; William Carlos Williams Center; Lambert Castle; Morris Museum, Rutgers University, Irish Arts Center; Snug Harbor and Italian-American Museum.

His books also include NEWARK, ITALY and ME which earned 5 stars by PRIMO (Washington, DC magazine) on Daniel P Quinn was also featured in The Record; The Coast Star; Irish Echo; The Herald News; The Montclair Times; The Italian Tribune; and Irish Post, Wisconsin.

Also in Performing Arts Journal; The Italian Tribune; Theatre Journal; Audiophile Voice; The Newark Library; Newscribes, Brooklyn; Co-Tech, Hoboken; WordPress; Sensations, SUBSTACK, Medium and 800 blogs for The New York Times (2019–23). Certificate in Ethics from Rutgers University School of Business. Guest artist at LaScala of Claudio Abbado; Dublin, Ireland; NJPAC via cultural exchange w/Lyon, France.

1.Hello Daniel! Welcome to the SIFF.

It feels great to have you here. What made you attracted to the films?

As a child,I was mesmerized by all the Film and Theatre Billboards in Times Square in and around 42 St in midtown Manhattan.

2.How did your journey begin?

After copiously reading Newspapers on Film and Theatre coverage in the metro-NYC area, but unable to see almost or none of what I saw seeing in ads or reading about.

3.Who were the filmmakers who deeply influenced you?

Bergman, Altman, Herzog, Fellini, Visconti, Kubrick, Preminger, Lean, Wertmuller, Cohen Brothers,Polanski, Jim Sheridan.

4.What made you write American Phantasmagoria?

A lifetime in and out of America from the 1970’s to our time. Back to back with literary and marketing history from the 19th Century and a view of pollution, murder and retribution.

5.Among all the modern American writers, why did you pick only Henry James and Mark Twain? What about Fitzgerald?

Fitzgerald was debunked in Nancy Milford’s book ZELDA (his wife0. I met her and knew her when I ran the Writers Room in Manhattan.

6.Daniel, what is your view on the Hiroshima Bombing?

After reading John Hershey;s HIROSHIMA in school a humane catastrophe and dumbfounded by the careless idiocy of the re-enactment in Texas in the 1970’s.

7.What or who influences you to experiment with your style?

The great directors who I mentioned above and my own imagination.

8.Among all the three plays, which one is closest to your heart and why?

I know it is a tough pick, but still I would love to know! They congeal in unexpected ways but work equally well on their own as a film or epic theatre for our time.

9.Why did you use the term “Phantasmagoria” for the trilogy? How would you define the word?

A neo-classical perspective confronted by the horrors of our time.

10.How would you differentiate between the world of films and the world of stage?

Film has a larger budget and takes longer to make and film. Theatre is self-contained with audience and practitioner in the same space. They can both astound us in a new way or disappoint us without real value.

11.Between the two, which stands out to you the most?

Media is diminishing the ritual of theatre, but ritual in a spiritual sense can transcend them both or fail as well.

12.How does the economic situation of the world affect independent films?

My work still being unproduced but winning 43 Awards and or Citations on Film Freeway.

13.As a storyteller, what kind of stories do you wish to work on more?

They emerge as part of my life and experience.

14.Thanks a lot for your profound insights, Daniel! Lastly, I would love to know how is your experience of working with The SIFF?

Hoping we could actually meet in NYC or Sweden for cultural exchange, via my degree from Ramapo College of NJ in Intercultural Studies..