Thursday, August 9, 2012

Spotlight On...Christian Mansfield

Name: Christian Mansfield

Hometown: Baldwin, NY

Education: BFA in Musical Theatre from the University of Miami

Select Credits:
42nd Street (Ensemble, National Tour, Theater of the Stars); That Other Woman’s Child (Deuteronomy, NYMF); Cabaret (Bobby, Barter Theater); Romeo and Juliet (Benvolio, South Florida Shakespeare Project); and- one of my top favorites- this year’s Broadway Bares XXII.


Why theater?: Oh gosh.  Can’t we start with something easier?  I think theatre is the most powerful form of storytelling.  It entertains, it educates, it stirs, it challenges.  And it is all done live, right there in front of you.  The audience, the performers, the crew, we’re all in this one building, breathing the same air, sharing the same moment.  I think that is magical.

Tell us about Gay Camp: Gay Camp is a hilarious comedy that follows two boys, Josh and Anton, who are sent away by their parents to a summer camp that promises to “cure” them of their homosexuality.  Along their journey they encounter evil plot twists, flannel, vibrators, a lisping lesbian, Cher, mullets, not one but two musical lip synch numbers, and about a dozen Rick Santorum jokes.  All hysterical.  Also we have go-go boy ushers!

What is it like being a part of Gay Camp?: It’s like running a comedy marathon.  Phil, Ken, and I each play about 4 different characters.  I think I have something like 11 quick changes in our 75 minute show.   And rehearsals are also like being in a great acting class.  You have Ken Urso, who is an unbelievable physical comedian with a rubber face, you have my character Anton, who has this killer wit and these great one liners that sting, and then you have Phil Mutz who not only is half of the writing team and so is rewriting jokes and bits on the spot, but also plays the perfect “straight man” to my and Ken’s antics around him.  Jokes aren’t really funny until they have someone like that to land on.  Add to that our director, Phillip Fazio, who manages to keep all of this energy focused and moving forward and you’ve got an amazing team.  Oh, and shout out to our rock star stage manager, Stephanie.  Thanks, Pam.

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: I like smart theatre.  And that doesn’t mean is has to be a Kushner play; although that man is inspiring.  I like theatre where everything on stage has a purpose and a reason.  There are no extraneous pieces.  I love theatre in which everything that happens or appears is there to tell the story.  I think Billy Elliot is a great example of that.  Every breath the actors took on that stage was intentional and told the story.

Any roles you’re dying to play?: The Emcee in Cabaret has been on my list since I saw Alan Cumming at Studio 54 in high school.  Also, Prior in Angels in America.

What’s your favorite showtune?: "Lullaby of Broadway" from 42nd Street.  It’s perfect.
If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: A kissing scene with Mark Wahlberg.  Well, Mark Wahlberg 15 years ago.

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: I’m not sure what the title would be but it would definitely be in 3D like the Katy Perry movie.  And it would star Topher Grace who then comes out of the closet on the cover of Vanity Fair.  And Meryl Streep would win every major award for playing my mother.

What show have you recommended to your friends?:
Peter and the Starcatcher.  That was some smart theatre.  Also……. wait for it…. Gay Camp!!

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: Pizza and bagels.  If I woke up tomorrow allergic to gluten I would die of starvation by the end of the week.

What’s up next?: How dare you.

For more information on Gay Camp, visit http://www.gaycamptheplay.com/

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