Everett Quinton
A core member of Charles Ludlam's Ridiculous Theatrical Company, Everett Quinton is one of the founders of a queer theater movement for which the political and the frivolous are inseparable. The influence of the Ridiculous stretches through Greek Active, Chris Jeffries, and most everything done at Re-bar. His latest solo show, Twisted Olivia--a lightning-fast but emotionally rich romp through Dickens' Oliver Twist--is running through January 10 at the Empty Space. BRET FETZER

Have you ever wanted to kill someone you love? No. I've never wanted to kill.

You've never been so frustrated with someone you love that you just wanted to throw them out a window? Yes, but I'd want them to live.

You'd rather maim someone you love.

Make them live to know my displeasure! Really, you just learn to make communication happen. Is this some kind of psychological test?

What draws you to Dickens? The melodrama appeals to the young kid in me, who read these books and just loved them. Also, I come from poverty; I know what it is to want. As you get older, you know what corruption is--you know who's getting screwed and who ain't--and you have no power to change this shit. You have your vote and you have your opinions.

And Dickens articulates your opinions? Especially Oliver Twist. I'm sure the funding for the parish houses wasn't spectacular, but money was given and then skimmed off the top. In the novel, there's Mrs. Corney who runs the orphanage and who's stealing the money, but I had to combine her with Mr. Bumble because I only have so much time. They got married--there's a fabulous scene I had to cut out where he seduces her, then they get married and hate each other! There's a recipe for gruel in the novel, a scientific assessment of how much oats to how much water is sufficient--it's the minimum daily requirement you can get away with and still call it food. When Oliver gets taken to Mr. Brownlow's house and the lady gives him broth, it's more nourishment than he got in the orphanage in months. And you look at the world today: We as Americans, we watch people starve, and we have protection policies that don't help the rest of the world--we have farm subsidies while people in Africa and South America starve. It's all about who's got the money, who decides. It's painful.