Thursday, February 16, 2017

Spotlight On...Yair Ben-Dor

Name: Yair Ben-Dor

Hometown: Herzeliyya, Israel

Education: Board-of-Education education? Both in Herzeliyya and in Philly (I moved a lot between the two). Real education? - The Lee Strasberg Film & Theatre Institute

Select Credits: TV credits: “Blue Bloods” (Naseem); "Quantico" (Oren); Theater Credits: Three Sisters (Solony); Uncle Vanya (Astrov); Erik- A play about a puppet (Barker); Julius Caesar (Brutus)

Why theater?: There’s nothing quite like the high of a good performance in front of a good reciprocating audience. Theater is an experience shared by everyone in the room, it’s magical, painful, thought provoking and freeing all at the same time.

Who do you play in A History of Servitude?: I play Pantalone - a misery old money lender with an over exaggerated libido and a severe case of aging.

Tell us about A History of Servitude: A History of Servitude is the brain child of the DOF. We wanted to come up with a way to show that those same stock characters from Commedia del’arte are still seen in today’s world. In fact, we’ve seen them time and time again throughout our short history on this planet. Through the use of time travel and bawdy slapstick humor, these characters set out to show the evolution (and lack there of) of the Master-servent relationship.

What is it like being a part of The Department of Fools?: It’s the most fun I’ve ever had doing theater. The DOF are all about collaboration. We don’t have one director, or one writer. The shows we put on are a result of constant writing, improv and observation of our society. Being a part of a company that is growing, striving for greatness and depends on one another is exciting, engaging and humbling.

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: I am generally very drawn to the kind of theater that is complex in it’s simplicity. I like carefully chosen words or no words at all. The kind of the theater that takes it’s time and stop to think on it’s way to the point.
New playwrights inspire me! I love new, undiscovered, raw and unapologetic work.

Any roles you’re dying to play?: Yes! I would love to play Rosencrantz or Guildenstern in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead by Tom Stoppard.

What’s your favorite show tune?: I’d have to say “Agony", from Into the Woods by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine

If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: For years I had wished to work with Phillip Seymour Hoffman, after I watched him in Death of a Salesman. Now I’m more inclined towards Danny DeVito. Is that a weird switch?

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: Oscar Isaac in “The Distracted"

If you could go back in time and see any play or musical you missed, what would it be?: I would go back to the Italian Renaissance and watch some Commedia del’arte

What show have you recommended to your friends?: Sir Ian Mckellen and Sir Patrick Stewart in Waiting for Godot

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: Anything related to Star Wars… no wait Batman… no wait Star Wars.

What’s up next?: My ever-growing focus right now is on writing and creating original work. I have several short films and projects in the making. Writing is something that, at the moment, is uncontrollably spewing out of me and I’m going to make the most of it.