nytheatre.com q&a preview by Brady Adair
September 4, 2012
What is your job on this show?
Do you like to read plays, or just perform them?
I very much enjoy reading plays because it's inspiring for my work. It's helpful to read plays, especially new pieces, as it keeps an actor current on playwrights and the types of plays being written. I'm also always looking for new monologue material so reading plays is vital when searching for audition pieces. Lastly, I like to read plays because I'm also always on the hunt for good material for colleagues. If I come across a play or character I think would be good for a colleague I recommend it to them. Sometimes I even send them a relevant scene to entice them.
Who is more important in the theater: the actor, the playwright, or the director?
This is a challenging question! I think the most important in the theater is actually the audience because they make it possible for the rest of us to do what we do. Without them we'd be adrift. But after that I think I would have to say the playwright because they are the scribes who give us the stories, the characters and the voices that we embody and share with that audience.
How did you meet your fellow artists/collaborators on this show?
I originally met our producer, Jake Lipman, when I was cast in a prior Tongue In Cheek production called "Dead White Males" which was a dark comic play about the American school system. I worked with a great team during that production and when it closed I knew that I wanted to work with Tongue In Cheek again and I feel very fortunate to have this second opportunity and reunite with some favored colleagues. I am very excited to do "Our Town" as it is not only a classic play but quintessentially American.
People who like which of the following recent Broadway shows would also probably like your show: THE BOOK OF MORMON, ONCE, DEATH OF A SALESMAN, CLYBOURNE PARK?
Definitely "Death of a Salesman" as it's also an American classic. I also think "Clybourne Park" audiences would enjoy "Our Town" as they both also possess a topical aspect in that they deal with life in a changing community.
Theater is a necessary ingredient in democratic societies. Do you agree or disagree, and why?
I would agree with this statement. Theater is a way for a society to express itself when maybe it's not always possible for one person to speak about something alone. Theater is cathartic and reflects our experiences, whether joyful or sad. Sometimes people feel a certain way and are certain they are the only one feeling that way; but when they put that into a play and share it with an audience, suddenly they find that nearly everyone has had that same feeling or experience! Theater helps shape a society by providing a framework to understand who it is and where it is going next.