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Butoh Electra

nytheatre.com q&a preview by Torrey Wigfield
August 31, 2012

What is your job on this show?
Actor - Orestes.

What type of theater do you like most to work on?
Good question! I am a huge fan of a show that requires as many actor "layers" as possible. You know, like song, dialect, combat, dance, and all the wonderful inner-emotional character life that comes with working on a project so rich in culture and style. Ironically, [having these layers] makes the actor's job a lot easier because you always have more to play with and more to remember on stage. It’s like there is always something brewing in the cauldron. Having layers gives you something new to latch onto. It keeps you in the moment…for me at least, anyway. “Butoh Electra” has many, many layers.

What are some of your previous theater credits? (Be specific! Name shows, etc.)
In addition to playing Orestes in “Butoh Electra,” I am day lighting as Abraham Lincoln in the musical “Honestly Abe,” at the Actor’s Temple Theatre. Before moving to New York, I was Tybalt with the Michigan Shakespeare Festival Tour, and Sir Andrew in “Twelfth Night” with Shakespeare in the Arb (Ann Arbor, Michigan). Donald Fenway in “Summer at the Lake” at Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theatre Festival is another favorite of mine. There are many more… I might have even played Troy Bolton in “High School Musical” once…

Do you think the audience will talk about your show for 5 minutes, an hour, or way into the wee hours of the night?
The audience will talk about “Butoh Electra” for a good long time. The production team has done almost too great a job of mysteriously blending mythical Greek and Japanese cultures, so much so that it might just require a small therapy session over drinks at your local pub. I highly recommend snagging a Yuengling at the theatre's bar during the pre-show. It is one of those shows that hits you pretty hard in the theatre and hopefully creeps up on you later in the week. The last show I saw that did that for me was Conor McPherson’s “The Seafarer.”

Which famous New Jerseyite would like your show the best: Snooki, Bruce Springsteen, Thomas Edison?
Snookie would be terrified by the more grotesque qualities of “Butoh Electra,” but would also be really, really turned on by some of the more--how shall we say--sexual moments of the show. I’m not sure how The Boss would react, and Thomas Edison would love the lighting.

If you had ten million dollars that you had to spend on theatrical endeavors, how would you use the money?
Ten million is still not enough to do this on a national scale, but it would all go towards fostering the arts in the public school system. “Pay to Play” is hurting young, emerging talent (and it's not just in the theatre or the arts). It is already difficult enough to stand up and perform in front of your peers. Putting a price tag on what people give so freely makes it seem that much harder.