These are excerpts from an interview with some of the cast and crew of the upcoming Capital Fringe show Everything I Do, a musical loosely adapted from Shaw’s Man and Superman.
[Everything I Do Director] Brad Porter, you were involved in Mother Courage at Arena Stage. Any interesting interaction with Kathleen Turner?
“The Wardrobe Supervisor, Alice, was assigned to Ms. Turner and she was told that if she needed anything she should just, ‘yell for Alice.’ Later, Ms. Turner was in her dressing room and suddenly bellowed at the top of her voice, ‘AAAALLLLIIIIICCEEEEE!!!’ startling the hell out of everybody. She was grinning when Alice got to her dressing room and it became a running gag for the run of the show.”
What’s the most unusual thing that’s happened to you on stage?
Actor Jared Calhoun: “When I performed in Fiddler on the Roof a huge storm knocked out the power in the middle of the performance. When we realized we wouldn’t be able to get most of the power back, we finished the show in the dark, without microphones, and using flashlights as spot lights. The audience loved it!”
Actor Phil Hosford: “I had to hang myself every night in the play Frozen. The tech guy had rigged a situation where it looked very real. I stood on the top of the chair, it fell, and I dangled. When my wife saw that—she had never seen the play, rehearsals, and I hadn’t told her about it—she almost fainted.”
Brad Porter: “I once walked out on stage at the very beginning of a one-act play and immediately called the other character by her real name, meaning that for the entire show, I had to think ahead and edit every mention of her name.”
Choreographer Emily Crews: “During a show on Halloween, I was supposed to wear a fake mustache and, at one point, get bonked on the head by a plastic bottle. When the bottle hit, the mustache flew off my face. It seemed intentional, and I was fighting back chortles for the rest of the show!”
During rehearsals for Everything I Do, which part is the hardest to avoid bursting out laughing?
Brad: “I love the physical comedy, so it’s really hard for me to keep it together when the actors are doing the dance numbers.”
Jared: “I have a pretty hard time not laughing during the song ‘Stop Making That Guy.’ Kind of hard not to when you are receiving a pap smear onstage, high-fiving off a couch and rolling your buddy around in a wheelchair.”
Actress Laura O’Brien: “Whenever Hector (David Tuttle) has one of his abruptly hilarious lines. Also, every time we all dance as a group.”
Emily: “I find the character Hector, and just about Everything He Does, hilarious as portrayed by the talented David Tuttle.”
Stage Manager Lauren Snyder: “I always laugh during the song ‘Honor is Such a Thing of the Past.’ Sam Game is great at pulling out all the stops.”
What is the most fun aspect of working in theatre?
Jared: “For me, it’s bringing life and humanity, from frivolous comedy to the grief of going through a miscarriage. There is nothing in the world like having a live audience experience this journey with you.”
Phil: “The wheelbarrows full of money. I just don’t know what to do with all of it.”
Laura: “Exploring new characters and meeting awesome people.”
Emily: “It’s the people I get to meet and hang out with! Everyone is so smart and talented and funny–not to mention sexy!”
Brad: “The thing I love most about theater is that it’s a collaborative effort. It’s magical to watch something go from words on paper to a real thing in real life, because of the hard work of a group of dedicated people.
What do you think it’s going to take for theatre to remain a vibrant part of the arts?
Brad: “A strong, educated, and well-paid middle-class.”
Jared: “Stella Adler says in her book The Art of Acting: ‘If the theatre today is debased, it’s because we are debased.’ Ultimately, theater is a reflection of our society.”
Laura: “Creating something that is meaningful and exciting will always attract an audience.”
Phil: “As a teacher, I obviously feel that it’s tied in with education.”
Lauren: “Legislators need to realize that theatre needs to stay in schools. That’s where the creativity and innovation is born and the type of thinking and problem solving that theatre helps produce in kids will help those kids to become problem solvers and creative innovators no matter what path they choose.”
Emily: “In the DC area, theatre seems to be thriving, possibly because there are so many cosmopolitan people here who appreciate the value of a live performance. In general, though, I think theatre has so much competition from all the screens in our lives, that it might take a big fat revolt against the screen from John Q. Public to get people to thirst for the live theatre experience.”
In the near future, do you have high hopes or great doubts concerning the D.C. theatre scene?
Brad: “I’m naturally optimistic, so I have high hopes. DC has a very close-knit and extremely talented theater community. I love living and working here.”
Jared: “The amazing thing about the DC Theater scene is the amount of diversity it brings. D.C. is a melting pot, constantly bringing in new people, new projects, and new ideas to the table and that gives me high hopes for it’s future.”
Lauren: “High hopes, for sure! There are so many opportunities for young people like me. Although, I do believe that DC needs to open itself up to more prominent roles for women and minorities. Slowly but surely I believe that is happening.”
Laura: “High hopes fo sho!”
Emily: “Definitely high hopes! There’s so much great talent in the DC area and so many companies doing fresh, exciting theatre!”
Everything I Do is onstage at the Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H Street NE,Washington, DC
Performances are: July 10 at 6:00pm, July 15 at 8:30pm, July 19 at 8:30pm,
July 24 at 6:00pm and July 26 at 8:45pm
Details and tickets or call 866-811-4111.