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.

David Morden ~ Polixines

David Morden, Polixines
David has appeared with The Rogue Theatre as Louis de Rougemont inShipwrecked! An Entertainment, Stephano in The Tempest, Brabantio and Montano in Othello, Editor Webb in Our Town, in the ensembles of Animal Farm and Orlando, as Madame Pace in Six Characters in Search of an Author, The Pope in Red Noses, Yephikhov in The Cherry Orchard, The Man in the Silver Dress in the preshow to The Maidsand Glaucus in Endymion. He has acted locally with Arizona Opera (The Pirates of PenzanceThe Threepenny Opera), Arizona Onstage Productions (Assassins), Actors Theatre (The Bible: The Complete Word of God (Abridged)) and Green Thursday Theatre Project (Anger BoxRain), of which he was a co-founder. David has also directed The Rogue’s productions of Major Barbara, GhostsA Delicate BalanceThe Goat (2008 Arizona Daily Star Mac Award), Six Characters in Search of an Author and Krapp’s Last TapeNot Iand Act Without Words. David has also directed productions with Green Thursday, Oasis Chamber Opera, DreamerGirl Productions, and Arts for All.  He was the text coach for The Rogue Theatre’s productions of The Tempest and Othello. He teaches Acting and Shakespeare at Pima Community College.