Monday, October 04, 2010

The Interviewer and the Pea (Day Six)

Well folks, a new season is upon us! A new season of adventure and comedy. A season a new faces. And to introduce some of those new faces (as well as say hello to some returning ones) we are once again sitting down with our latest cast for a series of interviews. I took a few moments to sit down and talk with another familiar face to Makeshift Theatre Co, Matthew Arnold.

Hey Matt, so tell the audience a bit about yourself. You've been in other Makeshift Shows isn't that right?
I'm from Coventry, Rhode Island, and I currently live in Medford. I've done a number of shows with Makeshift, most recently Robin Hood and The Three Musketeers.

Which was your favorite show to work on?
I really enjoyed performing in The Three Musketeers. I got to do a lot of work with swords and practice my stage combat skills.

Tell us a bit about your character in Princess and the Pea.
I play King Irving. He's loud and lordly, and is used to being in charge. It's good to be the king, after all! He kind of reminds me of Charlemagne from the musical Pippin, a character I've always liked. Like many of the royalty in the play, he sees the world a bit differently than everyone else - something which could easily be said of me as well.

What was the hardest thing you ever had to do as an actor?
In high school I played a blind man in a production of Frankenstein. During one performance I was supposed to give a prop to another actor onstage, and realized the prop wasn't where it belonged. I had to find it and retrieve it without actually "looking" for it, because even though I could see, my character could not.

Of all the shows you've been in, what was your favorite and why?
I would have to say my favorite was The Philadelphia Story, which I performed in my senior year in college. It's a very witty 1930s comedy, and the cast was top-notch. I'm very glad to have been a part of it.

What do you do before a performance to prepare to go on stage?
Not much, really. I just kind of step on stage and go from there. If there's a lot of complex physical movement (like combat) I stretch beforehand, but that's pretty much it. Lots of actors I've seen will do really intricate routines that involve all kinds of contortions and making noises to warm up their body and their voice, but I find that I work much better without all that. Neither way is necessarily better; I just do what works best for me.

What advice would you give to a young person in the audience who might be interested in theatre?
Have fun! Audition and perform as much or as little as you like. As soon as you stop enjoying something, there's very little reason to continue, and the same is true of theatre. It can be a hobby or a full-blown career; whatever is best for you.

What do you think families should take away from Princess and the Pea? What is it's moral/meaning so to speak?
Subversive vegetable placement is not a sure-fire way to determine someone's heritage. Oh, and people should be able to marry whoever they want. That's important too.
The Princess and the Pea is performing throughout October. Visit for more information!

The Regent Theatre
Arlington, MA
Sunday October 17th 1:00pm
Saturday October 23 10:30am

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