I and You is about two teenagers brought together due to an English project concerning Walt Whitman’s, Leaves of Grass. Through this project however, they navigate their youth as teenagers in high school as they ponder topics such mortality, love, and New York City.
What role do you play, and how do they fit into the story?
I play Anthony. Anthony is a high school senior who is an “A” student. He loves life, poetry, jazz, the saxophone, and basketball. His role in the story is the person that comes into Caroline’s room with the news that they have an English project to complete that is due the next day.
What are some of your character’s strengths and weaknesses?
Anthony’s strengths are that he is charismatic and friendly. Weaknesses include procrastination and his undying love of pop tarts.
What do you find most challenging about your character?
I think what challenges me most about Anthony is the task of tapping into his life and genuinely playing a high school senior. My high school senior year was only 3 years ago so I still remember, to an extent, what that was like to me. I also keep in mind however, that as high school seniors, Anthony and I have had a very different experience. It’s important for me to recognize both the similarities and the differences.
What line in the play means the most to you?
Anthony says at one point, “I’d love to go to New York City.” Caroline seconds that. Being born and raised in New York City, it is very cool to hear these characters have this strong desire to go to the “Big Apple.” I think it hints at their youthful energy and their desire experience so much more in life than they have experienced already. I think that is such a big part of this play. These two teenagers—whether one wants to admit it or not—are hungry for life. They know that there is so much more out there than their high school experience.
What makes I and You challenging/exciting/interesting to you?
The challenge of this play is for me to convincingly play a high school student whose experience was in most ways not like my own. Not all people in high school had the same experience. I know my experience in high school was far different than Anthony’s experience, but you would think that the fact that I went through and graduated from high school only three years ago would be enough preparation to convincingly play a high school student. I believe the audience will be able to tell if I am acting out the clichés of a teenager in high school. The audience, I am sure, would not only see through that, but feel disconnected from my character.
Why do you believe theatre is important?
Theatre is important because in some ways it helps people process, digest, and live the human experience. Different stories in theatre can relate to somebody in the audience or inform another person in the audience about a story and/or experience that is not only not their own, but is also a story and/or experience that they were never aware existed. Of course, and this should not go unsaid, theatre is a great form of entertainment. I believe to be entertained is a powerful and important thing that one can give to another person or group of people.