Part three in a series of interviews with the cast of Dog in a Manger at Red Tape Theatre.
1. Where are you from?
I was born and raised in Corvallis, OR. I moved to Portland, OR in 1998 and Chicago in 2006.
2. What is the first stage play you remember seeing?
My grandmother was directing a production of Little Women at the local arts center. I’d go with her to rehearsals and helped her build the set. There’s a scene where the March sisters put on a melodrama. Grandma built a “Castle tower” out of a large cardboard box. We colored the exterior together with pastel markers. When the show reached performance I got scolded because I knew all the jokes and would laugh loudly before the rest of the audience could respond. I didn’t realize I was being rude. I was just loving the play!
3. When/why did you start acting?
Grandmother again. She gave me two roles in a children’s theatre when I was very small. I played a servant in The Emperor’s New Clothes who rang a gong when the emperor appeared, then a turtle in Red Riding Hood with a big paper mache shell. I was tiny with a loud voice and the grown ups thought I was adorable. I loved the attention. Then I auditioned for some other companies and discovered that being adorable wasn’t enough to get me cast. My bruised ego, and the dreadful pageants at my elementary school, were enough to keep me from acting again till high school. By then I was no longer adorable, just closeted and socially awkward. The theatre scene helped me make friends, come out, and try on some new identities. It’s been a rocky romance ever since.
4. Tell us about your character in Dog in a Manger.
Fabio is bodyguard and confidante to the Countess Belflor. In a play about changing social roles, Fabio is an advocate for the status quo. He wants to be a protector but his fear of the Inquisition, and of change in general, causes him to give some very poor advice. It isn’t until others start breaking the rules that he finds the courage to pursue a love of his own.
5. Do you have a favorite moment/scene in the play?
Fabio gets to perform a little dance, which I’ve enjoyed learning. However my favorite moment would have to be a speech late in the play where Fabio finally speaks his mind about all the chaos that’s been going on around him. He spends most of the play biting his tongue so it’s a relief to finally cut loose.
6. What’s next for you?
This fall I’ll be co-organizing Red Tape’s Fresh Eyes Festival and doing dramaturgical research for our original adaptation of An Enemy of the People. Acting-wise it’s simply a matter of audition, audition, audition.
Dog in a Manger runs October 2-26.
Visit www.redtapetheatre.com for details and to purchase tickets online!