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News, Winter's Tale News

Q & A: Matt Waley, Philip Bennet

How did you first get involved in theatre?

Bennet: I have always wanted to be an actor.  At four years old I made a little puppet theatre and cut out photos from the newspaper to use as marionettes.  At six I had my first experience on the stage which was inspiring and transformative.

Waley: I had just quit the football team in HS because my knee was bothering me. My mom thought I should try out for the play because I was outgoing. I finally decided to audition and got the lead role of Joe Ferone in Up The Down Staircase.

Can you tell me an interesting or amusing theatre story?

Waley: I missed a cue in my first play at Live Theatre Workshop in 2002. I was playing Silvius in As You Like It. I missed that cue because I was telling people backstage what my favorite karaoke song was… Fat Bottomed Girls by Queen. I was absolutely mortified. Luckily my ensemble covered well. But, I have never missed a cue since (I refuse to talk backstage) and I have not karaoked since either.

Bennet: I had been acting for about 4 years on Broadway in American Stanislavski Theatre Repertory Company.  We did about 6 plays a season and alternated the plays, sometimes twice daily:  I was so confused one evening that I went on stage at the opening of the play and couldn’t remember which play I was in.  I stood blank and completely lost for what seemed an eternity.  If it hadn’t of been for the maid in the scene who said my opening lines, perhaps I’d still be standing there.

Do you have any actors/actresses you admire?
Bennet: Yes, many.  I deeply admire actors who are true artists, who take the time it takes to develop their technique and who build solid characters, not just play themselves:
Merryl Streep, Glen Close, Johnny Depp, Derick Jacoby, Ian McKellen, etc.

Are there qualities in your character that you also see in yourself?

Waley: When I looked up academic studies on the character I am playing- clown- the only description I could find was “A country booby.” So, besides the fact that I live in the desert, yes.

Bennet:  I believe I would behave just as he does in trying to save the life of Perdita; although, I hope to get back home safely before any bear could eat me!

What are you most excited about for in this play?

Waley: Always- the people I get to work with.

Bennet: I think the acting is outstanding. The music, singing and dances are exhilarating and beautiful.
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