A Twist of Water
nytheatre.com q&a preview by Stef Tovar
October 19, 2012
What is your job on this show?
Actor and Artistic Director of Route 66.
When did you know you wanted to work in the theater, and why?
Well, I always loved theater, but I didn't really know I could pursue a career in theater until my senior year of high school. I was a varsity wrestler in my final year and my drama teacher was like, "Are you going to theater school? You need to prepare, audition and get yourself ready!" And I thought, well I'm not going to wrestle in college, so I quit the team and focused on acting. Got into a college program (at Wright State University) and the rest is history.
What are some of your previous theater credits? (Be specific! Name shows, etc.)
Hmm. Well the past couple years have been really interesting and fun---very different. I've played Houdini (and others) in RAGTIME (which won the Jeff Award for Best Ensemble and Musical); Selznick in MOONLIGHT AND MAGNOLIAS which was so much fun (I laughed SO hard doing that show) and then Jeffrey Skilling in ENRON which was very challenging. My favorite role to date aside from Noah (in A TWIST OF WATER) is probably Jack in John Kolvenbach's ON AN AVERAGE DAY. Great role, play, director, design and my favorite actor to work with--Johnny Clark. And now for something completely different and terrifying: working on Harold Hill in MUSIC MAN this coming January with Rachel Rockwell.
In your own words, what do you think this show is about? What will audiences take away with them after seeing it?
This show is about...so many things. But after doing it 81 times I can tell you what people are most moved by is it's a family story. It's about family. Fathers and daughters and what it means to be a family. I have a lot of families and I think being in theatre, we all do. Family transcends race, gender, sexual preference, adopted, not adopted. Everyone leaves the theater having an experience that reminds them of their own families---whatever that means to them.
Which famous New Jerseyite would like your show the best: Snooki, Bruce Springsteen, Thomas Edison?
I gotta go with The Boss here. No contest. He's all heart and soul that guy--and that's our show. Hits you in the gut and it's all heart. Just like the Boss. And if he did come see our show, I would pass out, because he's always been one of my idols.
If you had ten million dollars that you had to spend on theatrical endeavors, how would you use the money?
With $10 million? Wow. As someone who just spent the last couple of months sweating and getting gray hair trying to raise $40K, I don't even know. That could pay a lot of actors a livable wage for starters. But for Route 66, I would focus on the development of new work. This was a little play no one ever heard of and a big risk for someone like us--a young company with no grants or corporate funding--to produce. But I believed in the play and all the people involved and the risk paid off. I am so grateful we are able to tell this story to America's ultimate theatrical stage: New York City. But there are a lot of plays out there that need the time, money and care we gave A TWIST OF WATER. $10 million could bring those stories to life.