Sunday, July 27, 2014

Spotlight On...Jonny Rodgers

Name: My parents dubbed me Jonathan, but everyone calls me Jonny Rodgers.

Hometown: I grew up in many places, but the town that feels most like home is Amherst, MA.

Education: I was a theater major at Occidental College.

Select Credits: I was Julien in Ken Roht’s Miss Julie(n), I was one of three performers in an ensemble show that was a collection of Shel Silverstein’s works called Daddy, What If?, and while there are many others, those are the only two I’m unwaveringly proud of.

Why theater?: It didn’t used to be theater. It used to be that theater was just “what I’m doing for now until I start my real career in film,” but I’ve recently come to the realization that the actual presence of the performers, and their direct relationship with their audience, is something that cannot be duplicated in any medium besides live performance. This dynamic is, to me, of the utmost importance if a truly lasting and honest impression is to be made through my acting work.

Who do you play in NO HOMO?: I play Ash, Luke’s best friend and roommate.

Tell us about NO HOMO: NO HOMO is a play that examines the truly dynamic nature of sexuality and love, and how one’s relationships can be affected by that ever-shifting part of one’s perceived identity.

What is it like being a part of NO HOMO?: This is the most fun I’ve ever had on an artistic project, and it’s because of the collaborative, open approach that has been taken in the creation of the piece. Everyone’s voice is in it, and we’re just constantly playing, which is, in my opinion, how a play should be.

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: I’m most interested in theater that is true to life, that makes you think about and examine your own life, as well as humanity as a whole. I’m also extremely interested in theater that defies genre and forces new neural pathways, and new perspectives, to form in the audience members. I hope to engage in creating this type of theater as I develop into a more complete artist/human.

Any roles you’re dying to play?: Javert from Les Miserables. I’ll have to wait a couple decades though. Or else Melchior from Spring Awakening, which I could do now.

What’s your favorite showtune?: Stars, from Les Mis. Or Purple Summer from Spring Awakening.

If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: Anne Bogart.

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: Neil Patrick Harris. It would be called “Jonny Rodgers wishes he were Neil Patrick Harris.”

What show have you recommended to your friends?:
I’m a big fan of Martin Mcdonagh’s The Pillow Man. And in case you meant TV Shows, I will always emphatically recommend either incarnation of Cosmos.

What’s the most played song on your iTunes?: I honestly have no idea. If I had to guess it would be Let It Be by those british guys.

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?:
Meat. Juicy red meat.

What’s up next?: A project called Space House, written by my best friend and roommate (in real life).