My Theatre

05 October 2013

The 2012 My Theatre Awards: Performer of the Year

By // Theatre (Toronto)

My Theatre TrophyEvery once in a while, in the middle of writing a review, we’ll be overcome with a feeling of déjà vu. Whether it’s the Sorkin loyalty on our TV branch or My Cinema’s longstanding affection for Soderbergh, sometimes we find ourselves praising a single artist so much that we start to worry about sounding objective. So we try to argue with ourselves, bring other staffers in on the debate, generally troubleshoot for favouritism. But there are some people who keep coming up as praise-worthy, no matter how hard we try to be on them. Unfortunately for the reputation we wish we had as universally tough critics, some people just kick ass at what they do and we can’t help but write about it.

20090318SoulPepper_Workshop_Academy For the Toronto division of our My Theatre branch, the most glaring example of this phenomenon is Soulpepper’s Gregory Prest. The first time we ever saw him was in a play we didn’t actually like that much- Judith Thompson’s White Biting Dog in 2011. Fresh out of the Soulpepper Academy, he played an odd character pretending to be someone he wasn’t and the performance was so captivating that it earned him his first My Theatre Award nomination (for Best Supporting Actor). We then missed his first big star turn at Toronto’s best company (as Oswald in Ghosts), because life is tragic like that, but caught up with him again at the start of what would turn out to be a remarkably full season of seriously solid performances.

Gregory Prest’s 2012 began in the crucial role of Edmund Tyrone in Eugene O’Neill’s masterpiece Long Day’s Journey Into Night (a production that would go on to win Best Play in the 2012 My Theatre Awards as well as Best Supporting Actor for Prest). He then proceeded to steal production after production as a romantic leading man in You Can’t Take It With You, a wacky but tragic king/dictator in The Royal Comedians, and the sweet and high-achieving neighbour Bernard in the re-mount of 2010’s Death of a Salesman. He also moved furniture in The Crucible (let’s hear it for Soulpepper’s dedication to a true rep system!) and co-created/starred in a wildly original and incredibly fun kids show, Alligator Pie (which just happened to win the My Theatre Award for Best New Work- that’s 2 wins from 3 nominations in 2 years, for those of you keeping track). We can’t think of anyone else who has amassed such an impressive body of work in a single theatrical season in recent memory.

His 2013 has been standout as well with Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, The Barber of Seville and (most fantastically ) Angels in America already under his belt and a re-mount of Alligator Pie still to come. But 2012 was the year that we almost started to get sick of writing about the incredible talent of Soulpepper’s modern leading man.*

*This is a lie, we will never get sick of writing about Gregory Prest. Unless he starts delivering bad performances. Somehow we don’t see that happening any time soon.

CLICK HERE to read Gregory’s Q&A from the 2011 My Theatre Awards and read on for our in-depth discussion about the marathon 2012 season that made him our Performer of the Year.

Walk me through the casting process for Soulpepper. Do you get a full season offer at a time, or one play?
It’s been a full season so far. I think that’s kind of how they do it. They’ll do a full season, and then there’ll be a few parts left to be cast, so they do that.

You were in six productions last year; I think that was the most of any company member. Was that intimidating?
It didn’t seem so at the time. At the time I was like, “yeah, of course. No problem at all.” But you know, [when you’re in the middle of] doing three plays and rehearsing another one- kind of busy. [Laughs].

You rehearse multiple shows at once?
It just depends on the scheduling, it’s a play-to-play basis. This year we were rehearsing one, performing one, closing it- which is very manageable. Last year we were rehearsing Royal Comedians, and then Crucible, and as soon as that went up, we started rehearsals for Death of a Salesman, and then we opened that and we were running three of those, and we were in rehearsals again for Alligator Pie and then working on the Cabaret Festival stuff that Mike Ross did… So rehearsing two and performing three is a bit crazy. It’s fun. But it’s crazy.

Let’s start at the beginning of 2012— Long Day’s Journey Into Night
Yeah!

You won our Best Supporting Actor Award for that.
Oh, that’s pretty amazing! That’s very kind of you.

Can you tell me a bit about that production?
I didn’t really know that play, at all. I had read it in University, and then when I found out I was doing it, of course, I read it again. But it was an incredible experience to discover what that play is while rehearsing it, as opposed to having a very strong preconceived idea of what it should be.

It’s autobiographical; the character of Edmund Tyrone is Eugene O’Neill—
Yeah.

What was it like playing the author? Was there any added pressure at all?
I researched as much as I could, but after a little while, you have to throw that out because it’s not useful. It’s useful to a point, and then you kind of have to let that fall to the wayside, and just try to play the scene that you’re in. That’s what’s great about getting to do it every night. Some nights I’ll be sitting backstage, or I’ll go on, and I’ll sort of think about—it’ll be quite helpful at times—and other times it’s not useful, at all, to think about his real [experiences]. 

How did you approach playing Edmund’s illness? 
What was really, really great– I worked with Kelly McEvenue, who is our Alexander coach here, and she really worked with me—how to do it physically, again, how to do it every night. You know, every night for five weeks and not blow my voice or hurt my throat. So I really worked with her on, just, simple things that seem so basic, but that I wouldn’t have known on my own. Basically like how to sit so you’re supporting yourself in the chair while you’re coughing, so that when you’re coughing, you’re coughing from here [demonstrates]-and you can’t do that every night for a three hour show. I just worked with her a bit on it, the physicality of it. Which is kind of great. And what’s amazing about the play is that it’s a great gift for an actor—[Edmund]’s ill, so he’s very weak, and that last act he’s been drinking a lot, so both those things require you to sort of let go of all tension, because the tension’s always the enemy, it always gets in the way. So that—being ill and being drunk— is a great gift for an actor, because it forces you to be relaxed, otherwise that scene with Joe [Ziegler, as James Tyrone] at the table would have been so scrunched up in the chair. [Laughs, scrunching up to demonstrate tension].

That play is all about really intense interpersonal dynamics, and family dynamics that are relatable, if really dramatic. Are you the sort of actor who pulls from your own life at all?
For sure. That’s why I was so excited about that play. The great challenge of [Long Day’s Journey Into Night], is that, it’s exactly as you said: these are very specific relationships that I can recognize; they have to speak true to me. So I think about my family, I think about those dinners where everything is going fine, and then one person says something, and then out of the blue, something incredibly horrific happens—[Laughs]–and then it sort of fades away. It needs that kind of electricity. It’s tricky to try to keep that, but try to take out the Drama with a capital “D”, you know? To try to keep it domestic, and home. When I think about my relationship with my brother—which is great—that older brother relationship is, for me, a very specific thing. So, Evan Buliung [playing Edmund’s older brother Jamie Tyrone], who I adore, I had never met before. Joe and Nancy [Palk, Mary Tyrone], I knew them, so they were a bit more comfortable. [But] I was like, “that’s a very important relationship in the play [between the brothers] and he’s a stranger, so how do I… ?” You sort of can’t go for it, right away. The politeness—you know, families aren’t polite— there’s a lot of politeness there [when you first meet someone], but it’s covering a lot of things. So how to get right there, right away, because we’ve only got six weeks of rehearsal to make it believable.

Do you find that on the first day of rehearsals for a new show you have to break through some of those stranger-barriers?
Yeah, for sure. Every show that I do [here at Soulpepper], there’s someone new that I idolize [Laughs]. So I have a bit of star-struck-ness, that I kind of have to get over. And I think I learned very quickly that it’s not helpful to keep that star-struck-ness. So I try to make a point to really connect, or use it, because otherwise I’m so nervous the first day of rehearsal, I’d be a pool on the floor- I’d be so wimpy and useless. I really have to armor myself with tactics to get through the day. You know: Connect with these people, say “Hello,” otherwise I’m just too nervous. Every time there’s a new great person to work with.

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With Evan Buliung in Long Day’s Journey Into Night

All the critics on Long Days had a tendency to go straight for the comparison with Diana Leblanc’s last production (at The Stratford Festival). Was that in your heads at all while you were rehearsing?
For me, I haven’t seen it, and I have no connection to Stratford. Joe and Nancy and Evan all have very strong connections to the people who played the characters [William Hutt, Martha Henry and Peter Donaldson, respectively]—they’d seen the production— so I could tell they did [have it in their heads]. I don’t know how it affected them, but for me it really didn’t. It’s a very intimidating play, and I understand that comparisons can help, but I was of the opinion that if you’re going to compare Tom McCamus and me, he probably did better, you know? Like, he’s Tom McCamus; he’s amazing. I never felt in competition or that we needed to be anywhere that we weren’t. I felt that we were creating our own thing. 

Nancy Palk played your mother again in that production. You two have a really special stage chemistry. Can you talk about your working relationship?
I love Nancy to death [Laughs]. I would do plays with her Forever. She was my mentor when I was part of the Soulpepper Academy. We were assigned mentors from the company, go-to people to ask questions. And we really hit it off. We did a show together a couple months before I started the Academy, at the Tarragon, so I knew her, and we really hit it off. She’s been an amazing, amazing friend and an amazing mentor. It feels so easy with her; we can just build on what we have. Which is the amazing thing about a company, you can just build on what you’ve got, instead of, “Oh, hi. You’re playing my mom. We have to open in four weeks, we’ve never met each other, let’s pretend.” [Laughs]. I think she’s great. And she’s consistently—from before I started the Academy, all the way through Academy, through the shows—we just have a great relationship.

Did you mentor someone from this past Academy?
No, I didn’t. But because I found that so useful, I started a mentorship program with The National Theatre School, where I graduated a few years ago. Matching up recent grads with current students, to help with that transition from school to the real world, which can be very, very tough. That was what inspired me to do that. Because it was so helpful, just to have someone you could ask the stupid questions, and not feel judged. I feel like—the things that go on in my head—[Laughs], if I were to ask a director in rehearsal, I’d ask them a question and they’d sort of roll their eyes and say, “this guy has no clue what he’s doing. Have you ever acted before?” But I need that—someone to ask dumb questions to, and to feel open enough where she can say, “Um, I think you’re being—[Laughs]-a bit of an idiot,” or “You’re over-thinking this”. I remember, one of my first times at The Academy, [Nancy and I] went for a walk, and we were chatting. I’d been acting for five years, I’m old as the hills, so I said, “When do you get to a point where you have to stop taking work out of town, because you just want to be in one town?” and she was like, “Um, …never.” [Laughs] “You go where the work is if it’s exciting to you.” She’s great. A breath of fresh air.

After Long Days, you took a break from dramatic characters and played, basically, a Rom-Com leading man. How did you approach that shift for You Can’t Take It With You?
It was great to do. It’s such a great play and such a great group of people, but I’ll be honest, because we were running Long Day’s Journey at night, while we were rehearsing it during the day, it was tough. Maybe a more experienced actor would be able to separate it, but the demands of Long Day’s Journey Into Night are not the same demands as You Can’t Take It With You, and it took me a while to let go of Long Day’s Journey Into Night—to let it go, and allow You Can’t Take It With You to be what it is and what it needed to be in the moment with my scene partner. I don’t know, maybe no one would have noticed from the outside, but from the inside I felt like I brought on a lot of anxiety [Laughs] into the Sycamores’ living room; and [Tony]’s really not that kind of guy. Sometimes it’s very easy to let shows go; it’s the last performance: “Done! I’m never thinking about it again.” But Long Day’s Journey Into Night was a hard one to let go.

Soulpepper’s always doing re-mounts. Would you lobby for that one to come back?
I would love for that one to come back. I would do that tomorrow if someone wanted us to.

You have to lobby for a re-mount of Ghosts, because I missed it the first time.
I would like to do that one again in a heartbeat, it’s an amazing play.

In You Can’t Take It With You, Tony’s the straight man in a room full of eccentrics. How did you keep him interesting while being the “normal” one onstage?
Joe [Ziegler, the director] was amazing in making sure to keep it active. Always, with a play, I’ll see what’s out there on YouTube. Because there’s always something. Some amazing things, and some horrific productions [Laughs]. In clips from that play, a lot of the family, the nutty family, are nutty times a million. And so, in a way, you’re kind of helpless. But Joe is really great at finding the heart of the story and finding the heart of the play. He shaped the ensemble so that the most important things in the script came out.

It was just nice to, you know, be in love [Laughs]. It was just nice to do that. It’s not something that I felt very comfortable doing; it just wasn’t something I was used to. In the last few years, I haven’t been playing those kinds of parts. So I’m really glad I did it, and Krystin Pellerin [who played Tony’s fiancee Alice Sycamore] and I went to school together, she was the year below me, and so it was just great to be in that play, and be in love, because it was not as comfortable for me as doing something else.

So, dying of consumption is easier than falling in love?
Yeah [Laughs]. For me, at the time. Yup. [Laughs]

The next thing on your roster was standing on stage every night in The Crucible, looking menacing.
Yeah.

So this is my opportunity to talk to you about the sort of team player dynamic that Soulpepper demands. Is it really as idyllic a place to work as it seems?
I’m going to say, “yeah.” It really, really is. You know, for some people, it wouldn’t be their cup of tea, but for me, it’s great. What’s kind of amazing is, you look around the room, and you’re like: this is what people do here, it’s a real ensemble. And I feel that. And not that it isn’t challenging sometimes, when you’re used to motoring through four hours of Eugene O’Neill, it is a bit tricky. But you figure out what the play is, who you’re supporting, I think this is the way it should be. In one play, I’m moving your chair, and in the next play, you’re moving my chair— that’s the ensemble. It doesn’t feel, on the inside, that there’s a star system. It feels like we’re all contributing in whatever way is appropriate for the play, and is appropriate for the storytelling. Like, I would be a terrible Danforth or John Proctor, you know? [Laughs] So now I’m part of the company, and we’ve got those people, and that’s how it fits.

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With Nancy Palk in Ghosts

There are no power dynamics that emerge when season offers go out?
I don’t know. I’m sure it’s individual for everyone, and I’m sure everyone’s got their own ways of thinking about it, or dealing with it. Often, here, I’ll be cast in plays that I’ve never heard of, and I’ll be like, “Oh,” which is very different. Before I started here- your agent calls or you see an advertisement looking for actors for this one play- you’re going in for something [specific]. Whereas this is sort of, “Sure, I don’t know this play—[Laughs]-but I would love to.” It’s kind of amazing, because I get an education that I would not have. I’m doing plays that, perhaps, I would not be pursuing. I would not have put my name in for You Can’t Take It With You [Laughs] to play that role. So, it’s amazing that that happens. But I remember, it was my last year at The Academy, they announced the season—we knew what plays we were doing. The Academy ended in June, so we knew we were doing Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Time of Your Life, and the Double Bill, but I had seen on the brochure that they’re doing Ghosts. Ghosts was a play that I always wanted to do, and I was like, “Oh, no! Noooo… kiss that one good-bye.” [Laughs] You know, big dramatic moment of, “Okay, maybe you’ll never play that part.” And then Albert [Schultz, Artistic Director] was like, “You’re playing [Oswald]“ so that was really exciting. But yeah, it changes things. 

Is there a scenario in which you would turn down a season offer?
I really believe that, as much as it’s important to be a good company member, when the work stops being exciting, and challenging, and interesting, then it’s time to move on. So, who knows? It could be an amazing part for someone, but for me I’m just not in a place [for that role]. So, that’s what I’m holding as my thermometer, I guess. If I’m ever feeling not excited by it. But luckily, hopefully, so far, knock-on-wood, that hasn’t happened yet. So I don’t know what it would have to be to sort of say, “Hmmm. I don’t think so.”

You have designs to stay here if you can?
Yup. This is a great place. I love this place.

I’d love to work elsewhere, and with other people- I think that’s really important and healthy for the company. I think it’s great for people to kind of, go and work somewhere else and then come back, because they bring back so much energy into the company, so I would love that opportunity but, thankfully, knock-on-wood, I haven’t had much time to do that.

Getting back to last season, you spent the rest of the summer stealing The Royal Comedians, as Louis XIV. Did you base your character on the real guy?
Not…. really….[Laughs]. Again, I did a bit of research—he’s very complicated because he’s Louis, but he’s also Stalin. So, of course I did research and worked with Laszlo [Marton, the director] to see what kind of guy this is, and then just sort of let my imagination run a bit with that one. Which was really, really fun. I mean, that’s such a weird, weird play [Laughs]. It required a different kind of energy, which was really fun to bring to it. 

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With Dan Chameroy in The Barber of Seville

You played a lot of comedy in the second half of the season. Did you miss the drama, or was it sort of a nice relief?
I don’t know [Laughs]. I think so. It was nice to do all of them; I’m really happy the way [it worked out]. So, I missed it, but I got to do more this year, so it’s fun and it’s kind of great. I mean, it’s insane. This year, while running Barber of Seville—which is really insanely funny and great— [we were] rehearsing Angels in America, at the same time. So, it’s great combinations. I kind of love that. You know, it’s better than, “Do you want to do Angels in America at night and rehearse Long Day’s Journey during the day?” That’d be rough. But to have them both is good, I think.

After Royal Comedians, you did Death of a Salesman again. Going back into rehearsals for the re-mount, did you change anything dramatically?
No, I didn’t. What was interesting was that my relationship with Joe [Ziegler, Willy Loman] was completely different at that point. Because, the first time we did it, it was my first interaction with Joe. It doesn’t read but it’s just interesting. Being in the room again after doing White Biting Dog, and Ghosts, and Long Day’s Journey, and You Can’t Take It With You, and the whole thing—we were in a different place in our relationship. I love that play and I love that part. So it was really fun to return to that part, and I really really loved it.

You like playing the geek (Bernard)?
[Laughs] Yeah, I really did. He’s a great little character. It doesn’t need to great, and it’s so easy for it not to be a great little part, but it really, really is. It’s really beautiful. I love playing that scene. It’s one of my favourite things I’ve ever played is that scene with Joe in the second half, in the office. The scene is very beautifully written; I think it’s really tender and sensitive, and yet really harsh and complicated. It’s very, very complicated. And I think this is an instance where the backstory bit is, I find, useful. I don’t know the details of this story, and I’m going to bung it up, so don’t quote me on this [Laughs- we quote him anyway], but part of the inspiration for this play was a meeting Arthur Miller had with his uncle. He had just done a show and it was very successful and after the show [the uncle] came up to Arthur Miller, and he just went, “[your cousin] is doing really, really good!” [Laughs] And he just sort of walked away, and there’s really nothing that says so much. So I think the Bernard character is very much Arthur Miller, in a way. He’s the foil to the two Loman boys, for sure. There’s something in that that I really, really like. 

With Ken MacKenzie and Ins Choi in Alligator Pie

With Ken MacKenzie and Ins Choi in Alligator Pie

Which brings us to Alligator Pie. Were you five (including Mike Ross, Ins Choi, Raquel Duffy and Ken MacKenzie) sort of thrown together after The Academy, or were you already up to some creative shenanigans together? 
It wasn’t the five of us choosing to be together, exclusively, without the other people we worked with. We were sort of put together, but it did not feel forced or strained, like, “Why are we together?” It made sense, and it’s really an amazing group of people. I love those four people.

Ins is known as a playwright, and Mike is known as a composer but you’re known more for being an actor than a creator. Why do you think you were chosen to be in The Creation Ensemble?
I don’t know. That’s a good question. Ask the guys upstairs [meaning Schultz, who put together The Creation Ensemble]. That was always part of my training. I did a little bit of stuff out of school, but it’s just really great to be able to work that way. I just have fun. I loved the show, I’m really happy with what we created. I’m really happy with how we created it, but more importantly, I’m really proud of the way we figured it out—because it’s really tricky to have adults in a room trying to create something, because everyone has a different idea of what they think is good, what they think is funny, what they think is so many different things. Sometimes it can just be the worst situation in the world, and it’s so painful and awkward and [throws his hands up] ughhh, tense-making. But this was really, really smooth, because we figured out a way to let each other be the full creative person that they can be, embracing all the flaws and amazing things. It sounds like a bit of a love-in [Laughs] but it was in a way, we had a lot of fun. We figured out a way to access our group creativity that was really fun. It wasn’t tortured, there was no pain involved.

You’re the only Creation Ensemble member who doesn’t have kids. How did that affect your experience?
Well, what was amazing was that part of every day is them talking about this episode, or that episode, or how much sleep they got last night. It’s a real–the violins are going to start playing now [Laughs]– family, and that’s what I’ve missed because I’m not with my family. My family’s in Nova Scotia, and I miss being around people who talk about their lives in a way that is familiar to me. So I just love that. One of my favourite things growing up was that my parents had friends of the family, who all had kids, and in summers we’d go camping. It’d be an entourage of like twenty people. Twenty five people in tents. And then going to my grandmother’s backyard, she had a huge blueberry field and we used to park our tents there, and we’d cook meals on the fire. I love that sort of communal thing, and that’s what it feels like, people talking about their kids and how they’re failing as parents and all that [Laughs] all, “I was a terrible parent last night,” and it’s all really, really fun.

Are you guys working on something else together?
Um…yes? Don’t ask me what it is because I’m not quite sure. We have some ideas, but we’re not quite sure. The tricky thing is, Soulpepper’s amazing and keeps us very busy, but because we’re so busy there isn’t a lot of time to devote to creating new material. While we’re running Alligator Pie [in November] we’re going to have some more time to create. Because we just need to be in a room together. That’s what we realized. Some people are really good at “You know, I’ve been writing, let me email you my stuff, tell me what you think”— we’re not that kind of group. We need to be in the room together with some garbage and some tricks and stuff. So it does require a very smart person with many people’s schedules to set down and say, “This hour, you can have”.

Alligator Pie is such a multidisciplinary show. Did you sing and dance and play all those instruments before, or did you have to learn for the show?
Sometimes. Depends. We all come in with our skills. One of the first shows I did here was Oh, What A Lovely War in 2010. I always wanted to play the trombone, and I was like, “You know what? I’m going to use this as an opportunity to do it. I’ll make myself do it.” So I said to the musical director, “Do you need the trombone?” and he said, “Yeah, that would be great.” So I said, “Well, you know, I’ll pick one up now, and practice, and if I get good enough, we can put it in the show, and if not, you can cut it, no worries, I won’t be sensitive” [Laughs]. When you get a chance to do that, it’s amazing to say, “I want to learn to play this,” and then you just rent it and you have the excuse to play it.

Is there a moment in that production that you’re particularly proud of creating?
I love the whole show. I love the moment when we did the solar system- the balls, only because the kids, there’s an audible “wow! cool!” Those kinds of moments I really, really loved.

I loved our time in the trap before we started. Because we were in the Michael Young Theatre, there’s no exit from the trap, so at the half-hour, before they let the audience in, they open the trap, we have to go in there, they close the trap and we’re laying [under] the stage for a half hour. And that was one of my favourite parts [Laughs] because it was the five of us, in that trap for a half hour, listening to the audience come in, laughing, and just having a great time. We can never really hear words but we can hear kids kicking the stage, or screaming. 

Did you get a lot of kids yelling out to the actors during the show?
Yeah, yeah, yeah. So great. I remember one time, the song that I sang on the accordion, it was at the end of the song, I was up on the box, and I was singing, and I do this stupid, stupid thing where I milk it for all it’s worth, and then I leave a little pause before I have my dramatic finish and in that tiny pause I heard a kid say, “I don’t like this one,” [Laughs] And it’s like, what can you do? It’s amazing. 

And I remember one time I was doing the hula hoop, and this one kid [says], “That guy is awkward.” [Laughs]. And I was like, yes! You’re amazing. I Am awkward! Congratulations. And that’s okay. That’s my point. And you can be awkward too.

After he saw that show, National Post critic Robert Cushman said “For some reason I found myself convinced, while watching the lanky Prest blowing trombone, that here was a future Hamlet.”
Yup. Okay. Sign me up.

What do you think it was about your trombone playing that convinced him to jump on that already-moving train?
I don’t know. I guess it’s just something in my magical relationship with my trombone [Laughs]. I don’t know what it is, but someone, let’s do it. I’m ready now.

Yeah?
Yeah. I’m ready to do it. I want to do it. I’ll do it anywhere. I’ll do it in your basement.

Soulpepper, Rosencrantz & Guildenstern

With Leah Doz in Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead

Was Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead like getting a little mini taste of Hamlet?
Oh, it’s a taste. It’s a great play. And I’ve never had Hamlet fever before, but now it’s like, I really have Hamlet fever. I need, I need, I need to play this. And so I was consuming the play, and consuming the play, and consuming the play [preparing to play Hamlet in Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead], and then realizing, it’s great, but it’s not always useful in rehearsal–you can’t, you’re not in that play. You’re in this play. So you’re Hamlet, yes, but you’re Hamlet in this play, which is different than [Hamlet in Hamlet]. That’s the tricky thing in rehearsals was trying to figure out—for those of us playing Gertrude and Claudius and Hamlet and Polonius and Ophelia—what Hamlet are we in? Was I playing Hamlet, an impression of Hamlet? Is that what we’re doing? That’s the fun conversation, the tricky thing.

So yeah, Hamlet fever. I’ll do it.

Often being in one play excludes you from being in another. What extra one would you have liked to have been in?
Oh, gosh. Let’s see, I’d like to be in Parfumerie. I’m too old and too young to be in Entertaining Mr. Sloane, but that’s one of my favourite plays. I love that play; maybe one day I’ll do it. All of them are great. True West is a great play. There’s so many, but I would kick myself in the face if I were ever complaining about not having exciting and fulfilling things to do because it’s a great year for me.

Is there anything you’d like to add?
It’s very nice that you do this, it’s sort of an amazing thing. You kind of keep the community gelled together, it’s really nice. It’s easy to feel disconnected from people, other artists especially, because we’ve been here [in one company] for a while. It’s nice to have forums to throw people together. It’s an important part of the community.

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