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Belleville

nytheatre.com q&a preview by Greg Keller
January 12, 2013

What is your job on this show?
Actor.

What is your show about?
Belleville is a beautifully wrought, disquieting and thrilling ride into the dark heart of a marriage.

Where were you born? Where were you raised? Where did you go to school?
I was born and raised in Manhattan. I went to Hunter College Elementary School and Hunter College High School. All thirteen years in the same building on 94th and Park. I went to Connecticut College where I got a BA in Philosophy, and eventually went to Tisch School of The Arts at NYU, where I got an MFA in Acting. After NYU, I was a Lila Acheson Wallace Playwriting Fellow at The Juilliard School.

Why do you do theater (as opposed to film, or TV, or something not in the entertainment field)?
Something people forget about playing make believe in front of an audience is that the audience is playing make believe too. The audience is pretending that they believe you're the person you're pretending to be. They're as engaged in keeping the play afloat as the actors are. And a conversation happens that doesn't exist in other mediums. And that conversation is sublime. And then everyone gets to go out together and share a beer or soda and talk about what it means to be a human.

How did you meet your fellow artists/collaborators on this show?
I met Maria (Dizzia) when we did a play together in the Summer Play Festival at The Public Theater called Millicent Scowlworthy by Rob Handel. Years later we played two different couples in a Daniel Goldfarb play at Manhattan Theatre Club called Cradle and All. While we were doing that we got cast in Belleville at Yale Rep, and now a year and a half later I feel very lucky to be doing Belleville again at New York Theatre Workshop.

Groucho, Chico, Harpo, or Zeppo?
Harpo.

Who are your heroes?
I'm a big Wally Shawn fan. Not just for his courage in following his particular artistic muses, but for his courage to live his political beliefs after coming to certain realizations in the middle of his life. He makes me want to do the right thing.