Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Spotlight On...Brandon Haagenson

Name: Brandon Haagenson

Hometown:  Oswego, IL

Education:  BFA:  Millikin University in Decatur, IL.

Select Credits: Monty Python's Spamalot (Patsy, NTC); 42nd Street (Billy Lawlor, Ocean State); going on for Lumiere in Disney's Beauty & the Beast (NETworks tour); Shows at FringeNYC, Theatre Row, St. Luke's, Snapple Center.

Why theater?:  Doing theater in school was when I found 'my people.' I've met the most interesting people in this business - creative, fun, focused types who challenge me, and they're who keep me coming back.

Who do you play in Afterglow?:  Josh

Tell us about Afterglow:  Afterglow is a play revolving around a married couple and someone that they become involved with. There's this line that couples teeter on between sex and love when they open up their relationship, and the playwright, Asher Gelman, does a really nice job of exploring all the different things that two people need out of the same relationship.

What is it like being a part of Afterglow?: The process for Afterglow has been incredibly collaborative.  When you do published works without the playwright in the room you take for granted what's written and kind of glean your own meaning from it. With this, we really got to sit down with our scripts and ask Asher what's underneath everything that happens in the story. Every scene, every word has something behind it, and it's been really cool to discover that and be given the freedom to add to it throughout this process with such talented actors.

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?:  I love when theater pulls the audience into the world it's painting. In Afterglow, we put the audience on either side of the action to make them feel like they're in these rooms with us. I'm just very attracted to any theater that breaks the form and invites everyone to live in this world for a couple hours. That's a luxury that film and books don't have.

Any roles you’re dying to play?:  Ken in Red by John Logan. That play deals so deeply in what making art does to a person and what it ends up meaning to the world.

What’s your favorite showtune?:  "Sunday" from Sunday in the Park with George. Not your typical showtune, but always gives me the goosebumps.

If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?:  Nicky Silver. He writes such compelling, funny characters that are so bent out of shape; I just want to see what building that with him is like.

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: Jonathan Groff looks right both in the cornfields and in the city, which sums me up pretty much, I guess. "Small Town, Big City." "Lost in Harlem." I hate coming up with titles!

If you could go back in time and see any play or musical you missed, what would it be?: I would like to see A Chorus Line downtown at The Public in 1975 just to see what the energy in that theater felt like.

What show have you recommended to your friends?:  A Doll's House, Part 2.

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?:  Kit Kat Bites. How are they better than Kit Kats?

What’s up next?: Hopefully something as exciting and daring as Afterglow.

For more on Brandon, visit www.brandonhaagenson.com