Monday, June 2, 2014
Spotlight On...Michael Markham
Hometown: Montpelier, VT
Education: The Juilliard School
Select Credits: Mother Courage and Her Children (The Delacourt), The Spectacular Demise of Platonov (Shapiro Theater), Giants (HERE) Christopher Marlowe's Chloroform Dream (The Red Room)
Why theater?: It's the same size as life. You are watching real people the moment it is happening. You are present for the event.
Tell us about Short Life of Trouble: SLT is taking a familiar story and looking at it through a different lens. And instead of just taking a Shakespeare and setting in some time period, we are adapting it to that time period. Val has taken text from that culture and some of her own and spliced it into Hamlet. We are getting to see new sides of these characters, which Shakespeare didn't give voice to.
What is it like being a part of Short Life of Trouble?: It's exciting. It's the first fully produced play I have been a part of in just over 2 years. My wife and I had our first child this last year. She just turned 1 this May. So between those family obligations and a number of my own film projects I have not had the chance to dig into a play for quite sometime. I am enjoying this time immensely. It's a wonderful group of talented people and I am enjoying chewing on Shakespeare again.
What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: I like theater that demands being on a stage. Where the theatrical event is necessary for the storytelling. I generally don't care for stories and scripts that could just as easily be on TV on in a Movie. If I'm going to a theater I want the fact that there is an audience to be dealt with, acknowledged, or simply necessary to the process. I don't think that requires audience participation or asides/direct address, but it needs to factor into the story telling and the story being told. With inexpensive cameras and the ubiquity of internet video, there are so many avenues for Film and Television type scripts. I don't want to go to the theater to see those stories. In the theater, I really love the work of Brian Mertes. I was lucky enough to work with him while at drama school and soaked up other opportunities I got to see his work. He has a way of making the events on the stage undeniably real and concrete.
Any roles you’re dying to play?: Henry V, Sweeny Todd, Brick. There are tons more.
What’s your favorite showtune?: “Make our Garden Grow” from Candide. It makes me weep nearly everytime I hear it. That's how you end a show.
If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: He's a filmmaker, so he's not in the theater but I would love to work with Jeff Nichols. He's very straight forward and tells interesting stories about real people. I also really want to work with Daniel Talbott. Now this is a bit of a stretch for this question as I worked with him on a one night, on book, short play presentation. I have yet to work with him on a full show. I feel like his work touches on that theatrical necessity that I mentioned earlier.
Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: I feel silly answering this. I guess the title would be "A Fools Errand" and hell I'd like Matt Damon to play me.
What show have you recommended to your friends?: "The Wire". It's almost a cliche but it's ruined me for other television.
What’s the most played song on your iTunes?: I don't use iTunes, but it would likely be something by Pearl Jam or Radiohead.
What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream
What’s up next?: I have a short film I directed and starred in that is in post production. I am acting in a web series that is looking to shoot in the next month, and I'm looking to produce and act in a short film with current plans to shoot before the end of June.