Cal and Grey
nytheatre.com q&a preview by Justin Blake Broido
September 19, 2012
What is your job on this show?
Where were you born? Where were you raised? Where did you go to school?
Hey ya'll! I was born in Texas and raised in the city of San Antonio. Growing up in south Texas really shaped me into the person and artist I am today. I was exposed to a lifestyle where beer and football were the foremost priorities in most people's lives. That being the case, I too have a fondness for beer and football (GO PACK GO!!) but I was also able to see past the haze of hops and huddles, and strive for a lifestyle that would touch more people's lives in much more intimate ways.
Who is more important in the theater: the actor, the playwright, or the director?
While all three, the director, actor, and playwright are crucial to the theatre, I have to admit that all great work starts and ends with the playwright. The great playwrights surpass the actor, and director, in the grand scheme of things. Burbage might have been the greatest actor of his day, but for every one person who knows Burbage, there are twenty who know Shakespeare. And all great directors and actors can trace their choices back to the text of the playwright. I've always said that in some ways, performing Shakespeare can be a very simple task. He already did the dirty work. He made the characters witty, distasteful, beautiful, naive. All the actor has to do is honestly say what the character says, and truthfully do what the character does. Not much else is needed. And while directors may feel pressured to add their own "vision" to their production, their choices have to be supported by the text, otherwise you're not really doing the play at all are you?
Why did you want to write/direct/produce/act in/work on this show?
I wanted to work on Cal and Grey because I knew this show would stretch me as an actor. Cal goes on such a roller coaster from start to finish, and the world these boys exist in was extremely intriguing to me. I wanted to fully comprehend what it means to be an orphan in a world where orphans are demonized...I mean who can hate on orphans? So I wanted to really explore this world and this society who's morals have been flipped upside down.
Which “S” word best describes your show: SMOOTH, SEXY, SMART, SURPRISING?
This show is without a doubt, above all things else, Smart. Our playwright Becca Schlossberg, has taken on a tremendous task of getting an audience to accept a world where orphans, who are typically pitied, have become scapegoats of a crumbling society. And I think she has succeeded in not only explaining the why's, but capturing the behavior of two boys who are stuck in between two worlds of peril.
If you had ten million dollars that you had to spend on theatrical endeavors, how would you use the money?
If I had ten million dollars, I would make theatre free for everyone. There's a majestic power the theatre possesses, and it's a shame that many people aren't allowed the opportunity to experience it because of financial reasons. I find it can be quite hard to get a "non-theatre" person into a theatre, but once they do, rarely do they leave disappointed. Watching live human beings live and breathe and deal with their circumstances is inspiring. We develop a sense of comradery, of brotherhood. We recognize that all of us have at least one thing in common: we are human and we are going through the same struggle. People leave the theatre usually feeling inspired. Inspired to go out and DO something. Call their parents, forgive a friend, go play with their dog. Theatre makes us better people. And unfortunately the theatre is sometimes viewed as a frivolous luxury as opposed to the spiritual necessity that should be afforded to all people.