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Beirut

nytheatre.com q&a preview by Lynn Sher
August 17, 2012

What is your job on this show?
actor/producer.

Do you like to read plays, or just perform them?
Reading is probably the thing I love the most about acting. I read plays by all of the authors I love whether or not there's a part for me or not. I love reading plays. It's reading plays that makes me want to perform on stage.

What was the last show you saw that really excited you, and why?
Uncle Vanya, Sydney Theatre Company - I was so amped after this production that I couldn't fall asleep. Every actor on that stage was ELECTRIC, constantly giving to each other and constantly giving to the audience. I though it was genius how they adapted their native Australian dialects to each character in a way that made the whole production seem unquestioningly more Russian somehow. I haven't seen a lot of Chekov, but it was very clear to me that this was how it was meant to be done.

How did you meet your fellow artists/collaborators on this show?
Esteban and I met in Terry Schreiber's class at T. Schreiber Studio. Terry had suggested that the two of us work on a scene from Beirut. That was the first time I had heard of the play and was intrigued by just the name of the piece. Because of scheduling technicalities I ended up working on it with another actor, but it was clear that Esteban was perfect for the part. Kerry was referred to me by way of Peter Jensen, also of Schreiber decent. She was his AD for the studio's production of Lobby Hero. Christopher Minard was referred to me by Robert Verlaque also from Schreiber. He was the set designer for Bob's production of You Never Can Tell. I had the pleasure of working with Julianna at a restaurant that shall go unnamed and I know Ian from Schreiber at well.

Which “S” word best describes your show: SMOOTH, SEXY, SMART, SURPRISING?
SEXY with a capitol "S"

If you had ten million dollars that you had to spend on theatrical endeavors, how would you use the money?
First I would higher a financial adviser: ) I suppose I would build, buy or renovate my own theater. Mid-sized, maybe 100 seats. Buy an apartment building to give artists affordable housing and rehearsal space. And I would produce killer productions of killer plays. I would do some intensive Shakespeare training too. And I would see tons of theater all over the world.