I play four quite different characters: Sammy (Jean's husband), Paul (a hands-on person), a bystander, and the town's mayor (and father to problematic son).
Sammy's the biggest challenge, because his relationship with Jean is, as one would expect in any relationship, complicated. He love(d) her, and need(ed) her, but he seems pretty dependent on her and also, at all costs, on not rocking the boat. Their relationship seems full of warmth and good feeling, but underneath, sacrifices they both make also seem to eat away at each other a bit. He needs to please; he also annoys.
Paul's a working man, confident in his skills, practical in his concerns, caring for his family, fairly grounded, not unduly preoccupied with anything beyond his own needs.
The bystander cameo is fun because we meet him when there's no compelling need for him to be responsible. We all have opinions, right?
And the mayor: Not quite up to the job, trying hard to skate over that thin ice, hoping no one notices. Both the bystander and the mayor present opportunities to play a little fast and loose, since their faults seem more obvious and evident.
What excites you about working on THE QUARRY?
It's a treat to be involved in new works that are still somewhat, at least, in flux. It's especially enjoyable when, as in this case, the play is full of really good dialogue that "fits" the characters so thoroughly and provides an invitation to delve more deeply into why folks do and say what they do. Then, there's the addition (or fundamental substrate) of the music. The music and script leverage each other, providing additional opportunities to play off as well as play with each other. I'm looking forward to better understanding the relationship between the characters and the music that comes in around them. Playing four different folks also presents some challenge to develop "handles" on how they present themselves to the world physically, vocally, emotionally.
What do you think will be the most challenging thing you have to tackle in the creation of this play?
Sammy's character seems to me to be the one that will reveal itself the most during rehearsal. Finding the truth of why he does and says what he does - or does not, and how this colors the relationship between his needs and Jean's seems the most complex. It will be important to continue exploring why he does what he does, and, in particular, to understand the downside of his choices. And there's the need to delineate those "handles" for the differing characters.
What do you think this play is about?
I think The Quarry is about the sacrifices, compromises, and mutual understandings - spoken and unspoken - that underlie relationships. Forgiveness comes into play, not only of others, but of oneself, and the play is also talking about the need to know ourselves.
What would you like the audience to be talking about after the show?
I'm imagining that the conversation might touch on the sacrifices we make (willing or less willing), the boundaries with which we protect ourselves, and where those intersections occur in relationships.