Monday, September 12, 2011

Spotlight On...Troy Deutsch

Name: Troy Deutsch

Hometown: New Prague, Minnesota

Education: BFA University of Utah Actor Training Program

Select Credits:  Broadway: Standby for Jason in Rabbit Hole (Manhattan Theater Club); Rabbit Hole (The Huntington Theatre, The Cleveland Playhouse).

Why theater?: It’s immediate.  I like stories.  Telling stories, hearing stories.  I like magic and impossible things.  I like language.  I like ritual.  I like being taken away for a little while and I like the feeling after I leave the theater, finding my way down the sidewalk again, back to my life, different and changed, hopefully.

Tell us about Lake Water: I’m from a town with one stoplight.  There is a lake outside of town.  I wrote a play about two high school seniors, Iris and James, who meet at the lake, out on a dock, surrounded by green water.  They are grappling with their friend’s suicide and their own “crappy” lives.  There are things floating in the water around them.  The play is a little over an hour and takes place in real time as the sun goes down and it slowly gets dark.  And it’s funny and hopeful…  And dark.

What inspired you to write Lake Water?: I found a poem my little sister wrote for a high school writing assignment about all of the young people dying in our small Minnesota town.  She then told me about the suicides of a few local kids.  These stories, my sister’s poem, and my own feelings of growing up isolated in a small town, grappling with adulthood and sexuality, led me to start writing the play.

What is it like pulling double duty as actor and writer?: While I was developing Lake Water, I always had other actors read the role of James.  It wasn’t until this production came about that I started thinking about playing the role myself.  Most of the script work was done before rehearsal and during the first week of rehearsal I wore both hats, as we tightened the script even more.  But now that we’re on our feet, the script is pretty set and I can focus on completely diving into the world as James.

What do you enjoy better, acting or writing?: I love them both.  I would have said writing, because I can do it anytime and anywhere and I love creating entire tilted worlds and the people who inhabit those worlds, but showing up to rehearsal every day and looking into Samantha Soule’s eyes (who is playing Iris) and playing with her on that dock is utterly joyful and terrifying.  She is an incredible actress and makes me want to be better. 

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?:
I like when people rip it out.  I liked Blasted at Soho Rep, Black Watch, A Normal Heart, God's Ear, Sunday in the Park with George, When the Rain Stops Falling, pretty much everything at The Rattlestick, Cate Blanchett in Streetcar and Uncle Vanya, Viola Davis in Fences, Alfred Molina in Red, Ben Whishaw, Aya Cash, Ellen Burtsyn, Lars Van Trier, Bjork, Alexander McQueen.  I love the violent imagery of Enda Walsh and Philip Ridley.  Tennessee Williams is my hero.  So is Patti Smith.  And Sam Shepard.  Tony Kushner, Jez Butterworth, Adam Rapp, Lucy Thurber.  Genet.

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?:
Umm, I’ll be in it.  I think it will be called OPEN DIRT.  My dad owns a construction company and I grew up with backhoes and bulldozers.

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: The Shaggs at Playwrights Horizons was probably my biggest guilty pleasure of the year.  I saw it twice and bought the real Shaggs CD and am a little obsessed.  Something about those girls singing in the basement with Annie Golden for a mom.  “There are many things I wonder/ There are many things I don't/ It seems as though the things I wonder most/ Are the things I never find out.”

What show have you recommended to your friends?:
  I loved The Tenant.  I loved The Select (The Sun Also Rises).  And anything and everything directed by Daniel Talbott (right now that is Eightythree Down at Under St. Marks).

What’s up next?: I wrote a feature-film called Nasty (and it is) and I’m shopping it around.

To purchase tickets to Lake Water, please visit