Tuesday, June 3, 2014
Spotlight On...Jay William Thomas
Hometown: Winchester, KY
Education: BFA Western Kentucky Univeristy
Select Credits: TV: “GAYS: The Series”; Off-Broadway: DeathBed (Ripple Effect Artist Directed By Brent Buell); Einstein (Variations Theatre Group, Directed by Randolph Curtis Rand); Off-Off Broadway: Something Wicked (Everyday Inferno Theatre); Zombie Frat House Bash (EndTimes Productions); Regional: Romeo & Juliet (Romeo, Phoenix Theatre); Pillowman (Second Season, For Better Pioneer Playhouse)
Why theater?: Honestly, because I didn’t make the high school baseball team. I had the spring free and was convinced to audition for the school musical. In college my initial major was in Broadcast Journalism, dreaming of one day anchoring on SportsCenter, I thought acting wasn’t a feasible option. But I couldn’t get away.
Who do you play in A Map to Somewhere Else?: My Character’s name is Constantine, but once thrust back into our imagined fantasy I play two different (but related) characters; the dark king and the young prince.
Tell us about A Map to Somewhere Else: I’ve been describing this show as a cross between "Chronicles of Narnia" and "Pan’s Labyrinth" (I stole that from our director). It has the wonderfully created imagination of C.S. Lewis and traces of the dark, cruel world of Guillermo del Toro. We are young adults thrust back into a forgotten world we chose to leave, all the while haunted by our figments, who are trapped in-between.
What is it like being a part of A Map to Somewhere Else?: The thing I love most about the work Everyday Inferno Theatre chooses to produce is that it’s always imaginative and challenging. This play definitely lives up to the hype. Incorporating song, dance, and combat all in a quasi-unconventional round stage, this piece is a ton of fun. I love being a part of projects where you know you’ll have friends come and say, “How did you do that?” So in summary…it’s a blast.
What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: I love true story telling pieces. I love the PigPen Theatre Company (their Cymbeline production was my favorite Shakespeare ever) because they find ways to change the ordinary to unordinary. I love theater that does that. That model of Guerilla Theater inspires me. Using what you have with no budget and creating an entire world from a piece of cloth.
Any roles you’re dying to play?: I would love to play Alan Strang in Equus. I also have an affinity for Neil Labute, Neil Simon, Eric Bogosian, Sarah Ruhl, Wendy Wasserstein, Tom Stoppard, and William Shakespeare, to name a few. But really I love creating new characters for new plays most of all.
If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: Being from Kentucky it’s always been a goal of mine to work with the Actor’s Theater of Louisville. It’ll happen
Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: People say Dave Franco looks a lot like me, or me like him.
What show have you recommended to your friends?: The COSMOS. Watch it.
What’s the most played song on your iTunes?: I’ve been through so many reboots of my ITunes Library and truthfully I’m more of a Spotify guy, but I can proudly say that I looked it up and "Make the Money" by Mackelmore and Ryan Lewis is the most played.
What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: A six pack, pizza, and an all-night gaming session with my roommate.
What’s up next?: I the fall I’ve been asked to do a Checkov piece with MFA program at Columbia University. But everyday is different to keep up you can visit Jwilliamthomas.com
For more, visit http://www.everydayinferno.com/AMaptoSomewhereElse/