Friday, August 14, 2015

Spotlight On...Zak Kelley

Name: Zak Kelley

Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio.

Education: High School: School for Creative and Performing Arts, ’13. College: The New School: Performing Arts, ’17. (BFA Dramatic Arts).

Select Credits: Hamlet, The Hot L Baltimore, Present Laughter, The Boys Next Door, Our Town, The Amish Project. Two-Time Winner of “Pick of FringeNEXT” in Cincinnati Fringe Festival: Blown Up ’12 (Co-Writer/Director, Actor) & Thou Shall Rot in Hell ‘13 (Director, Writer, & Actor).

Why theater?: Theatre is ruthless and bloody. It requires the actor to take a story, gut it, figure it out, put it back together, and give it back to the audience. It’s kind of extraordinary.

Who do you play in O’ Save Us, St. Sophia?: Gregg.

Tell us about O’ Save Us, St. Sophia: O’ Save Us, St. Sophia is a story of holding on and letting go. It is the story of loving someone to the point of obsession and having to say goodbye. It is a story of everything and its opposite.

What is it like being a part of O’ Save Us, St. Sophia?: It’s incredible. Every idea, every attempt at trying something new, every new artifact we find for these characters is always more than encouraged, which gives so much space to the cast to figure out what we can do to make our work rich and fulfilling. To be able to work with these people on this work is everything I could ever ask for as a performer and an artist.

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: I think solo performance is such an interesting form of theatre. Not only for the single fact that the responsibility relies solely on one actor to carry the entire arc of the show, but also, how cool is it that, as an actor, you get to make all of the choices and those choices make the show what it is. It’s gratifying, it’s brave, it’s awesome. Edward Albee inspires me as an artist. To know that there is a chance that a storyteller, such as himself, exists and I could potentially have the chance to tell one of his stories just excites me. His plays are honest, they’re brutal, they’re just incredible.

Any roles you’re dying to play?: I’m not going to lie- I really want to play Lady Macbeth in Macbeth.

What’s your favorite showtune?: The opening song from Ragtime. It’s unreal.

If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: Uh…Meryl would be pretty cool, but you know, I’m pretty busy, so we’ll see.

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: I would play my grandmother and it would be called "Are You There, God? That’s Okay, I’ll Call Back Later".

If you could go back in time and see any play or musical you missed, what would it be?: Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Directed by Pam McKinnon.

What show have you recommended to your friends?: Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Absolutely incredible.

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: The dictionary. I’ve read it six times already.
Just kidding. I’m in a serious relationship with my Netflix.

What’s up next?: I’m currently working on my second solo-performance show and am preparing for the upcoming school year.


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