Selected roles and some thoughts on each
Each representative role is labeled title, producer and role.
Lobby Hero Jungle Theater Jeff
My favorite show to do, ever. The actors were the best in town, the script by Kenneth Lonergan seemed to get deeper and more specific the more you thought about it, and brilliant director Bryan Bevel said the wisest thing ever to me when I got stage fright: "It's not about you, it's about the character; get over yourself." The actress in the photo with me is the magnificent Angie Haigh.
The Seagull Theater Novi Most Konstantin
In Chekhov's the Seagull. I played Konstantin, An aspiring artist. At least, he starts out that way. Later, he becomes a disillusioned artist. I thought it was one of the saddest characters I've ever played.
It was directed with penetrating insight and great theatrical vision by Vladimir Rovinskii.
The Hidden Room Skewed Visions Bruno Schultz
Based on the mind blowing book Street of Crocodiles. I played the author, Bruno Schultz in this show, burst out of a plaster shell, was menaced by a Nazi, haunted by my father and got tangled up in yards of fabric. One of many gorgeous shows by Skewed Visions. Directed by Gulgun Kayim.
Photo by Willis Bowman
A Number Illusion Theater Bernard
I played three clones in this one, though I was not able to manifest three separate physical bodies on stage as suggested by this publicity photo. I thought a lot about nature vs nurture and the concept of "persona" with the aim of creating three characters that were the same but different. I got to act opposite the fantastic Steve Hendrickson in the two-hander (or 1 and 3/3rds hander?) by Carol Churchill.
Fnu Lnu Crabapple Theater Deezo
As in this show, I often seem to be cast as characters who are doomed. But I felt far from doomed working with this incredible group of artists headed by genius director Bryan Bevel. I did a few other shows with this group, including 10 o'clock Tuesday, Good Clown, Bad Clown, and Grand National. The actress in the picture with me is the radiant Adena Brumer.
Cinderella Old Log Theater The Prince
A marvelous opportunity to work at an American theatrical institution, the Old Log Theater, opposite the enchanting Natalie Wass. I have heard that the Old Log is the longest continually running theater in the country. That's nothing to sneeze at. This one was a kid's show, and had the usual trappings. But those stories are classic, and even if Cinderella is a pretty tired, it's still never fails to entertain. Directed by Tom Stoltz
Act a Lady Illusion Theater Casper
A marvelous show by the brilliant Jordan Harrisson. My character had a tortured secret but found release in the world of the theater. Well, don't we all?
Directed by Peter Rothstien
Cipher the Light House Group Clerk B
A really cool play by Corey Hinkle about a distopian culture of surveillance in the not too distant future. I thought about my character as being one step from human - a mobile representation of a person motivated only by conventionalized desires but struggling with a latent humanity that has just begun to assert itself. Seems to be where we're headed these days. The actress in the photo with me is Ellen Fenster. Directed by Kris Lenkowski
Romeo and Juliet Guthrie Theater Balthazar
If you squint, you can see me in the middle of this picture. My character was, I gather, made up by the director, because Shakespeare never mentioned him. I tried to fill it out where possible, but the important thing is that I got to wear a really cool leather jacket and ride an electric scooter. Productions of R & J almost never seem to escape from under the shadow of Franco Zefferelli. This one however, was directed by Ethan McSweeney with imagination and originality.
Music Lovers Workhaus Courtney
When I first read music Lovers I thought it was the inversion of Peter Shaffer's Amadeus, in that the audience was being given a chance to see the world from the artist's point of view. However, time revealed it was the inversion of the inversion. Will these geniuses never stop selfishly thrusting our our own mediocrity in our faces? Curse them!
Written and Directed by the marvelously multi-talented Alan Berks.
The Hobbit Children's Theater Bilbo Baggins
My favorite book from childhood, I was out of my mind with joy when I got the news they were going to let me into this one. I had lots of ideas for the character, but the director was going for something else. I never found out what.
Nevertheless, it was a popular show and even broke some box office records. Best thing was that I met some fantastic people and found the ring of power. Now: What to with it?
Directed with panache by Whit McGlaughlin
The Alchemist Red Bull Theater Abel Drugger
In Jeffrey Hatcher's brilliantly witty update of Ben Jonson's The Alchemist, I made my Off-Broadway debut as Abel Drugger, a sweet but brainless seller of tobacco in Elizabethan England. One audience member described my performance as being "like a Disney cartoon". Maybe I was a little two dimensional, but it was a lot of fun.
Directed deftly and elegantly by Jesse Berger
The Ugly One Guthrie Theater Karlmaan
They say "looks aren't everything.", but this play explored the ways in which people behave as if there were nothing else. With minimal sets, props and costumes (by design rather than budgetary constraints) it was an impressive demonstration that less is more and acting is everything in theater. Directed by Ben McGovern.
photo by Mark Vancleave
Shining City Jungle Theater Laurence
Generally when prostitutes appear in our culture's drama they are either portrayed as freakish human wrecks or tainted saviors. I tried to make this character just a guy in desperate circumstances doing what was necessary. Poverty is too often seen as some kind of pathological defect or criminal flaw. I hoped this character could give the audience a glimpse of the other side. Directed by Joel Sass.
Photo by Michal Daniel
Good Person of Szechwan 10,000 Things Wang the Waterseller
I took my inspiration for Wang the Water-seller from the Toa te Ching, where it says "let yourself be irregular like a stone, the lowest of the low". Barbarah Kingsley is the actress in the photo with me.
Directed by Michelle Hensley.
Lloyd's Prayer Illusion Theater Bob the Beast Boy
I was tasked with recreating a role originated by iconic Minnesota storyteller Kevin Kling.
I studied raccoons a lot to play Bob, a boy raised by raccoons. What really interested me was the idea that, isolated from his fellows, a human might adapt inhuman behaviors in order to survive -ironically, a very human thing to do. Directed by Brian Gorenson.
A Winter's Tale 10,000 Things Florizel
I actually played several characters ranging in age from toddler to elderly in this bare bones staging, but spent the most time as Florizel. 10,000 Things does a lot with a little and their mission of bringing classic theater to those who do not normally have access to theater of any kind is admirable. Directed by Tracy Young.
The House Skewed Visions the Rat man
Nobody does site-specific like Skewed Visions. You haven't lived until you've found yourself uncomfortably in the middle of one of their shows. Often, as an actor in Skewed Visions shows you are more concerned with your relationship to the space and objects around you than you are to other actors, which tends to create really deep introspective types of characters. It's cool. Directed by Gulgun Kayim
Red: Instructions to follow 15 Head Jack
I have never again worked with a company that has a process like 15 Head. The cast spent rehearsals essentially playing theater games and then it all got bundled up as a play. This might not sound like a great system, but somehow, they used it to create some really fantastic shows. Red... was about fairy tales. I played the ubiquitous Grimm's character, Jack. Directed by Jon Leeseth.
Untitled # 1 Skewed Visions the Knight
This cracked fantasia by Skewed Visions was loosely about Kafka, among other things. It was staged in an abandoned marble factory and it was, like all Skewed Visions shows, beautiful, disturbing and cool. I have to admit I don't remember much about my character, except that I was fond of Gruyere cheese and ruthlessly abused by a character played my my good pal John Troyer, here pictured crushing me under a table.
Directed by Gulgun Kayim