Why? Because the stuffed-animal slinging, falsetto-singing, universe-weaving, Dada-referencing, Bay Area playwright and theater artist (and good friend and muse of seminal filmmaker George Kuchar) is all that -- and he's just been nominated for a New York Innovative Theater Award (being announced at a party in NYC tonight) for his 2006 Off-Off Broadway production of Kingdom of Not.

Savvy Fringe Festival regulars may recall that this same show played in SF last year, and garnered the enigmatic and oddly-compelling Carbone an award for "Best Dramatic Male Solo Performance." Carbone will also be a featured interview subject in an upcoming documentary about the Kuchar brothers, It Came from Kuchar. And he's working on a new collaboration with performance artist Erica Blue: a multi-media movement theater piece based on the movie Blood of a Poet by Jean Cocteau.

We've been a fan of Dan's work since the first time we saw him fling dolls from a suitcase onstage with all the seriousness of a supreme court judge, and our love was only inflamed by subsequent exposures to the strange and delicate lives of his characters: human, animal, and otherwise.

Recently, we got to listen to him talk for two hours over coffee. Which makes us extra-special. For you, here's a little bit of what Dan had to say about himself:

If someone has never seen your work, how do you explain it?

I would say that my work is structured on a kind of dream logic. And a lot of the work is created from dream dialogue. And I try to stay true to that. In that way, I'm similar to Cocteau and also the work of Luis Buñuel, because they worked from dreams. There is a power to dreams; they're kernels of something, there's a mystery there. You know there's something behind it but even you as the creator don't quite know what it is. And you don't want to discover it. But you know there's a power to it so the challenge is then to take these dreams onstage in such a way that it moves the audience. What happens is that audiences aren't used to this.

Dan said a lot more. Keep reading after the jump.