Sunday, April 21, 2013

Ten Favorite Roles I've Performed On Stage

Tonight is opening night for Reefer Madness the Musical.  It is my first play since 2011, first production at South Dakota State University and my first singing role in a musical.  In anticipation for this I was looking back at previous plays and decided to make a list of my favorite roles.  This excludes improv, stand-up and film work.  Some of these go back a ways, doesn’t seem like I am as far out of high school as I actually am.  This is a personal blogpost, don’t know who will like this except me (but then again I really have no idea who reads this site).  Anyway, here are my ten favorite roles I have performed in plays.

            10. Waiter/Angel- Dead Man’s Cell Phone by Sara Ruhl.  Theatre B, 2010.
I had an small role in this and while I did not get any lines or any chance to take center stage this was an extremely solid ensemble.  Really felt like a part of a group.  Also being at rehearsal everyday I really got a great opportunity to struggle and analyze this difficult play.

9. D’Artagnan’s Father- Three Musketeers by Ken Ludwig.  Fargo South, 2009.
I did not appreciate how great this role was at the time.  Mainly because I was a high school senior that thought he was a lot better than I actually was and I had a stick up my butt about not getting a lead.  But this was a great role.  I got to open the show with a wonderfully choreographed rapier fight.  Since I was not in the show after the first scene I had a chance be part of the stage crew which was awesome.

8. Cohen- The Underpants by Steve Martin.  Theatre B, 2011.
If I could do any performance again it would be this.  I really didn't understand this character until after the play was over and I finally started to relate to him.  But it was a really fun show and a well written character.  I love that when they need to cast a 35 year old Jew in Fargo they cast a 19 year old Presbyterian.

7. Porter- Macbeth by William Shakespeare.  Fargo South, 2007.
I got away with talking about my flaccid dick on a high school stage, thank you William Shakespeare.  A lot of fun monologuing and comic relief.  Plus had a really quick costume change into the Old Man (who I also played) before changing back into the Porter just to walk across the stage.

6. Harry the Horse, Guys ‘n Dolls by Frank Loesser.  Fargo South, 2007.
I remember pissing off some cast members with my ad-libbing (which I now concede was a bit excessive), but I really got into this character.  The accent, the costume, Harry the Horse is just a perfect small comic role.

5. The Devil- The Bathtub Farce by Tony Devaney Morinelli.  Fargo South, 2007.
Love playing the villain.  Wore a really cool mask and cape and got to play with my low register (which I rarely get an opportunity to do).  I love cartoons and I literally played the devil on the shoulder.

4. Samuel Parris, The Crucible by Arthur Miller.  Fargo South, 2008.
One of the biggest roles I ever had and few really dramatic performances I've gotten to give.  A lot of trouble with line memorization, but the show turned out great.  Out of all of the losers I've played Parris was the most pure.

3. Jimmy- Almost, Maine by John Cariani.  Theatre B, 2010.
This was really the first play I really felt chemistry on stage, my scene partner was terrific and really helped me out a lot.  Jimmy the hopeless romantic that is struggling to find love was a character I really related to.  It was a different experience, a much smaller production than I was used to and my first time acting with adults.  But it was a really great experience.

2. Special Ed Renzelli- Good ‘n Plenty by Jeffrey Hatcher.  Theatre B, 2008.
Just today my mom mentioned this play.  Good 'n Plenty is a perfect comedy that is probably the best written, directed and cast show I've ever gotten the privilege to be a part of.  I got to play the awkward principal who just can't do anything right.  This role was just such a natural fit and became really physical.  The director constantly reminds me of this performance and has said I have not topped it yet.

1. Tom- The Least Offensive Play in the Whole Darn World by Jonathan Rand.  Fargo South, 2009.
This is my personal favorite role.  I got to play a closeted infomercial host trying to sell "The Script Cleaner 5000."  This was a really fun one-act, well directed and really well cast.  This character was really different than the types I usually fall back on.  Really high voice, intentional movements and clean cut (all of these others have had beards).  This is the role I look back on the fondest.

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