The blog is back folks! I hope you all had an amazing summer. Mine was wonderful, due in no small part to the fact that Fault Line Theatre was nominated for SIX IT Awards. We were all thrilled to receive such recognition in only our second season, but we couldn’t have done it without the support of our wonderful audiences. Thank you all so much, Check out the complete list of nominees here. The awards ceremony will take place on September 24th, and we are all very excited to see what happens.
Our dear friend and collaborator Karl Gregory was nominated for not one but two awards. He received an Outstanding Actor in a Featured Role nod for his performance as Aeschylus in Frogs, and an Outstanding Actor in a Lead Role for his work in From White Plains. Karl took the time to answer a few question before the ceremony:
Those who know you and your work know that you’re no stranger to awards, having won a SALT Award in 2005 for Fully Committed and getting the “Best Local Actor” nod in the Best of Ithaca Awards in 2010. Even so, how does it feel to be nominated for not one, but TWO IT Awards in the same season?
Are you kidding me?! It’s amazing. I feel like Meryl! Yeah, it feels nice to be recognized for what you do. The NYC OOB world is full of new and interesting kinds of plays, and it’s definitely cool to be nominated as one of the best.
What were the biggest challenges for you in creating the role of Aeschylus in Frogs?
Well, I think the thing we all had to grapple with in that show was the level of absurd comedy while still being truthful, to the play and to ourselves. Aeschylus was a freaking nutjob – a pompous, self-aggrandizing whack. Who also happened to have a pretty solid point about the nature and purpose of art in society. So how do you get that message across without losing the richness of character? You put it all out on the table, faults, triumphs and egos, and you let the play do it’s job.
Speak a little bit about the process of creating From White Plains. How did it differ for you from other new play processes in which you’ve participated? Did the fact that the material hit so close to home make it more or less difficult to portray Dennis?
First of all, this was the first time that I had ever signed on to a project without having a script yet. When we all came on board, Michael Perlman (writer/director) had a single idea, the inciting incident of the play. We also had a fully assembled team. Designers, producers, actors, and our writer/director were involved from conception through development, and into the theatre. I’ve never experienced anything like that before, and I’ve got to say, you can feel the effect. We have a play that is so undeniably in our bones, all of us. As for Dennis, well….. there was nothing easy about that part. There’s a lot of me in there, ideas and things that came out of development. I’ve always found it much harder to play myself onstage. You have to be a lot more naked, willing to show all your baggage. That final monologue hurt every night. But I think it’s important that people see that hurt. So I did it. (And secretly loved it.)
Why do you think there was such an overwhelmingly positive response from audiences to From White Plains?
It’s not something anyone has ever seen. I certainly never have. We were thoughtful about crafting the play so that there was no enemy, no ‘bad guy’. Just four human beings with completely different life experiences. And isn’t that what life really is? No one is the same, no one truly understands what you have been through, what makes you who you are. We make other people feel bad, to make ourselves feel good. But we must have some kind of honest discourse about what happens when society says it’s ok to treat people like they are less than human. I think the real gem of the play is that it asks a lot of questions, and asks the audience to come up with more. Because these questions don’t have answers. It’s an ongoing conversation, and From White Plains bravely stepped out front to make sure we are having it.
We’d love for you to join us at the awards ceremony on September 24th. You can get your tickets here. Be on the lookout for more exciting news from Fault Line in the next few weeks!