Saturday, August 20, 2016
Spotlight On...Dillon Heape
Hometown: DuQuoin, Illinois
Education: University of Evansville (BFA), American Conservatory Theater (MFA)
Select Credits: New York: Tartuffe! (Three Day Hangover), Molly Murphy and Neil deGrasse Tyson On Our Last Day on Earth (NYMF). Regional: 1776 (dir. Frank Galati), Napoli!, A Christmas Carol (American Conservatory Theater), Avenue Q (Santa Rosa Summer Rep). And that GoDaddy commercial with all the chubby, hip-thrusting redheads.
Why theater?: I’ve been performing since I was a little kid...and nobody’s stopped me! As I’ve begun my professional journey in NYC, I find more and more each day that the theater is where I learn about myself and my place in the world. I value the entertainment aspects of theater, but it’s the social dialogue and the capacity to contribute positively to the world that keeps me around. And the free champagne and nibbles at opening night parties.
Who do you play in Reconciling?: I play Charlie, a happy-go-lucky, slightly faltering college kid who is now dealing with the consequences of his absence during his father’s recent illness.
Tell us about Reconciling: It’s a super-smart, unique (and short!) play. I fell in love with it because of its structure on the page. Jenny King wrote this play about three different couples experiencing points of contention in their relationships -- all independently of one another -- but we see all three stories play out simultaneously in the same space, with words, phrases, and sometimes complete thoughts from different stories colliding, often in very different contexts.
What is it like being a part of Reconciling?: I’m in love with The Barrington Collective -- the new company making its NYC debut with this play! They’re a wonderful and very talented group. On top of that, performing this play is super demanding technically, which is so exciting to me. For instance, when I’m talking to my scene partner, there are two other stories happening around me at the same time, and my cue to speak might be a line from a conversation I theoretically “can’t hear”. It’s a huge challenge and I love it.
What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: I’m inspired by really innovative storytelling. I love when form changes unexpectedly, or when casting defies the “norm”, or when a world I’ve been taken to turns out to be completely different than I’d anticipated. And I love the ensemble-driven work from directors like Emma Rice, John Doyle, Diane Paulus...
Any roles you’re dying to play?: King George III in Hamilton, Albin in La Cage aux Folles, Elder Cunningham in The Book of Mormon, The Nurse in Romeo and Juliet
What’s your favorite showtune?: “For Now” from Avenue Q...but only for now.
If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: I would sever a limb to work with Stephen Sondheim!
Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: A wigged Colin Firth in "Fresh Ginger"
If you could go back in time and see any play or musical you missed, what would it be?: Parade at Lincoln Center Theater
What show have you recommended to your friends?: I’ve told everyone who will tolerate my misty-eyed gushing that the current revival of The Color Purple is the most profoundly beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.
What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: Donuts!
What’s up next?: I’m doing a world-premiere play in NYC this fall. I can’t say what it is yet, but it’s a project I’m very proud of and excited by, and I’m thrilled it’s receiving a production. Stay tuned!
For more about Reconciling, visit www.barringtoncollective.com. For more about Dillon, visit www.dillonheape.com.