Q & A: Steve McKee and Dylan Page

How did you first get involved in theatre?

Page: I have been interested in acting for most of my life, but I didn’t get serious about theater until my Junior year of high school.  I was in a production of Come Back to the Five and Dime Jimmy Dean at Tucson High School and I fell in love with the whole process.

Why acting?

McKee: It’s a great way to be creative.

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

McKee: He’s good and noble and always sees the positive side of things.

Page: There are a lot of actors who I respect a great deal, but two that I really admire are Meryl Streep and Natalie Portman.

Do you have any actors or actresses you admire?

McKee: Christopher Guest, Hank Azzaria

What is your favorite previous role?
Page: This past year I played two roles that really solidified my passion for theater.  The first was Evelyn in The Shape of Things with the Arizona Repertory Theatre at the U of A  and the second was Dewey Dell in As I Lay Dying at The Rogue Theater.  The first because of the challenge it posed for me as an actor, and as a person, and the second because of the beauty and complexity of Faulkner’s characters and language.

What are you most excited about for in this play?

McKee: Rogue Theatre does great quality work.  You can tell everyone rises to the best of their abilities.

Page: This play is so epic, and so many things happen.  We get to dance, sing, and operate a massive puppet all in the course of a two hour production and I think I am most excited for those things.

Q & A: David Morden

How did you first get involved in theatre?

My first introduction to theatre was doing church plays as a boy.  I took drama classes in junior high and and high school.  In college, I realized that I was spending all of my free time at the theatre department and decided to commit to acting as a career.

Why acting?

Why acting” is the big, big question.  I think I like that form of communication above all others:  acting out a story so that an audience gets a vicarious experience of something out of the ordinary.

Can you tell me an interesting or amusing theatre story?

I could tell you a million!  Most theatre stories revolve around something going wrong and how one got out of the situation.  I once did an avant-garde play in Seattle–a series of monologues with two other actors.  At one point during the show, an audience member stood up, walked out of the theatre, came back and announced from the front of the stage, “The is the worst show I have ever seen in my life” and then left!

Do you have any actors/actresses you admire?

I usually admire British actors over American actors, because they have better training in classical theatre in Britain.  My favorites include Simon Russell Beale, Alan Rickman, Helen Mirren and Alan Rickman.
What is your favorite previous role? Do you have a dream role?

My favorite role is the one I just did for The Rogue:  Louis De Rougemont in SHIPWRECKED.  My dream role used to be the title role in Shakespeare’s RICHARD II — but now I’m too old to play the part!  Anything in Shakespeare is a dream role for me, but I suppose Elyot in PRIVATE LIVES would be high on my list, too!

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

Always – though I would state it differently.  I always find the qualities in myself that work for the character.  We all have qualities such as love, jealousy, caring, anger, etc. inside of us.  As actors, it is our job to call them forth and explore them.

What are you most excited about for in this play?

This play has one of the most beautiful reunion scenes at the end of the play, when everything that was lost is found again.  If we do our job correctly, our audiences will be deeply moved by it and will leave the theatre thinking about those people that they love and can’t afford to lose.

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.

Dylan Page ~ Mopsa & Others

 Dylan Page ~ Mopsa & Others

Dylan is currently a Studio Art and Anthropology student at the University of Arizona.  She has performed with The Rogue Theatre as Dewey Dell in As I Lay Dying, Jenny Hill in Major Barbara and Felicity Cunningham in  The Real Inspector Hound.  Her other recent credits include Flaminia in Commedia dell’Arte Day with the Illegitimate Theatre Ensemble, Janice in Member of the Wedding (Arizona Onstage Productions), and Evelyn in The Shape of Things (Arizona Repertory Theatre).

Marissa Garcia ~ Dorcas & Others

Marissa Garcia, Dorcas & Others

Marissa performed with The Rogue Theatre as Barbara Undershaft in Major Barbara. She is a Tucson native and received her BFA in Acting/Directing from the University of Arizona. Since graduating, Marissa has performed and directed with companies throughout Arizona, Colorado and California. She was seen on Los Angeles stages in premieres of Bernardo Solano’s Lost and Evangeline Ordaz’s Visitors’ Guide to Arivaca, a show she was also involved in here with Borderlands Theater. Other credits include: Ana in Living Out (2005 Mac Award Nominee–Best Actress), Julia in School of the Americas (Borderlands Theater); Thomasina in Arcadia, Cordelia in King Lear (Arizona Repertory Theatre); and Evelyn in Close Ties (Catalina Players).

Christopher Johnson ~ Rogero & Others

Christopher Johnson, Rogero & Others

Christopher is currently in his fifth season as the Artistic Director of Etcetera at Live Theatre Workshop, where acting credits include Thom Pain (based on nothing), Jailbait, Dying City, Kimberly Akimbo, The Santaland Diaries, Say You Love Satan, The Eating Disorder Talent Show (which he wrote), Mr. Marmalade, Cloud 9, The Rocky Horror Show, Danny and the Deep Blue Sea, The Importance of Being Earnest, Lemon Sky (Mac Award Nomination, Best Actor), The Penis Monologues, Hedwig & The Angry Inch (Mac Award Nomination, Best Actor), Savage In Limbo, Dog Sees God, Bug, Sweet Eros, Fat Pig, Tape, Corpus Christi, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Titus Andronicus. He has performed elsewhere with Winding Road Theater Ensemble (United, Fifth of July, The Lion in Winter, Armor), Fairbanks Shakespeare Theatre (Camino Real, Antony & Cleopatra), Invisible Theatre (Swimming in the Shallows), Brachiate Theatre Project (Macbeth), 1984 Theatre (Waiting for Godot) and Tucson’s Shakespeare Under The Stars (Romeo & Juliet, Much Ado about Nothing). This is Christopher’s first appearance at The Rogue.

Lee Rayment ~ Archimedes & Others

Lee Rayment, Archimedes & Others

Lee performed the role of Stephen Undershaft in The Rogue Theatre’s production of Major Barbara. He is a graduate from the University of Northern Colorado. Lee has recently returned from a brief stint abroad. Some previous roles include Katurian in The Pillowman for The Now Theatre, Salieri in Amadeus, Pantalone in The Servant of Two Masters, and Mr. Cladwell in Urinetown.

Dan Thomson ~ Cleomenes & Others

Daniel Thomson, Cleomenes & Others

Dan is a Theatre, Film and Television student currently studying at the U of A. With The Now Theatre he has appeared in This Property is Condemned, A Night of Three Short Plays, The Bald Soprano, and G.B. Shaw’s Overruled, which he directed. Dan is a member of The Charles Darwin Experience, the University of Arizona’s only all-improv comedy group.

Philip Bennett ~ Antigonus

Philip Bennett, Antigonus

Philip G. Bennett is a graduage of the four-year training program in acting, teaching and directing at the American Center for Stanislavski Theatre Art. He has been training actors professionally for more than forty years.

He served as Assistant Artistic Director, actor, and instructor under the Russian émigré teacher, author, and director, Sonia Moore, American Stanislavski Theatre.

He made his professional debut on the New York stage in 1970 as Lopachin in Chekhov’s, The Cherry Orchard, and played such roles as: Cabot in O’Neill’s Desire Under the Elms, Nato in Pirandello’s To Clothe the Naked, King Alonso in Shakespeare’s The Tempest.

In 1976 he founded the San Francisco Theatre Academy and its professional company, The Stanislavski Ensemble. He later transformed the Academy into The Bennett Theatre Lab in San Francisco and the TheatreLab & Conservatory in Tucson.

James Cockrell ~ Mamillus

 James Cockrell ~ Mamillus

James is an eighth-grader at Orange Grove Middle School. He has been an active member with the Tucson Diving Team at the UA Aquatic Center and sings in the St. Philip’s St. Nicholas and Schola Choirs. Recently James played the role of John Henry in The Member of the Wedding for the Arizona Onstage Productions. Before that he sang the role of Harry in the UA School of Music’s production of Britten’s opera Albert Herring. James has been a frequent actor at the UA School of Theatre Arts where he played the roles of Winthrop in The Music Man, Tommy (age 5) in Tommy and in The Miracle Worker andCarousel. The role of Mamillius is his tenth on stage, beginning with his Arizona Opera debut in Madama Butterfly at age of 3½. James attended the Interlochen Arts Camp for five summers in northern Michigan, where in addition to singing, acting, dancing and playing the violin, he enjoyed riding his bike, swimming, fishing and cookouts.