Both Your Houses
nytheatre.com q&a preview by Kelly King
September 18, 2012
What is your job on this show?
When did you know you wanted to work in the theater, and why?
When I was 7 years old and played Grumpy Rabbit in an Easter Production of Snow White. I had never received such attention, and what an escape from reality. It was like my imagination had actually come to life and from there, there was no turning back. I've followed and sharpened the craft ever since.
Why do you do theater (as opposed to film, or TV, or something not in the entertainment field)?
I do theatre, I am an actor because I love to examine the human condition. It is downright fascinating to figure how we work and why. And to realize, there are so many varied answers. On stage we live in the moment and make decisions based on that moment and then, the moment is gone. Plus, the live audience has experienced that very moment with you. It is a far more intimate experience. I love film and television, but it is a very different beast. The moment we capture on a sound stage can be played and played again with varied answers to choose from for the final presentation for an audience you never really meet. Film is a different, I think perhaps more tame beast.
In your own words, what do you think this show is about? What will audiences take away with them after seeing it?
Our show is about the human condition. It really is. BOTH YOUR HOUSES may have a political story line but at it's core, it's about choices and how our choices affect not only our lives but those around us. And I can't think of a better arena to investigate those choices then in the political arena. I think our audiences will have a field day when they realize the piece was first produced in 1933, almost 80 years ago! Why? You'll have to see it to believe it...
Who are your heroes?
This a strange question to choose but I think, for me an important one when thinking of our show. My greatest heroic American is Jesse Owens. I had the extreme privilege of spending a day with Mr. Owens many years ago. Without much exaggeration, I can say Mr. Owens was my father for a glorious summers day in 1970. I didn't know him as anything but a kind, loving man who took a real liking to my brother and myself during a sporting event in Baltimore. After the day, I did some homework and came away with the ability to put a face to courage. A man, a black man who in 1936 stood up to bigotry, to racism, to arrogance in all it's ugly colors and without fanfare or pomp ran, won and faced a monster with dignity and sportsmanship. Courage. I could only ever hope to be so brave.