Sunday, March 17, 2019

Spotlight On...Adam Bertocci

Name: Adam Bertocci

Hometown: Bronxville, NY

Education: Northwestern University

Favorite Credits: The Shakespearean mashup Two Gentlemen of Lebowski. Although I am still proud of my work as the Wolf in my high school production of Into the Woods.

Why theater?: I come from film, where everything tends to get a little literal. I love how on stage you can create a world through suggestion, through the audience’s imagination, even just an actor’s words.

Tell us about Miranda from Stormville: It’s a modern take on The Tempest. Miranda Milano is nineteen years old and trapped in an isolated little town in the wilds of New Jersey, caring for her overprotective father in his state of mental decline. What happens next... well, we don’t follow the original beat for beat, but fans of the original will get a kick out of spotting the connections, I hope, and people who are unfamiliar with the original should be able to enjoy it as a self-contained show.

What inspired you to create Miranda from Stormville?: I recently reread my diary from the day the idea hit me which seems to confirm that it just kinda popped in there, although at the time I envisioned it as a short film, and (I’d totally forgotten this part) an animated one. What can I say... I always found “The Tempest” fascinating and mysterious, I love how people are drawn to tinkering with it in surprising ways, and I could easily see the original from Miranda’s perspective. The rest, who can say.

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: Theater that literally speaks to me: words! I love a nice big speech, a snappy dialogue, a big argument with sentences popping off like fireworks. Changes by the project, but I guess it always comes back to my own life and memories. Even when I’m riffing on Shakespeare, everyone is really based on someone I know...

If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?:  Right now Brie Larson is high on my list. Shamefully,  I haven’t seen “Captain Marvel” yet.

What show have you recommended to your friends?: I am thinking here more of my friends who are not into theater than those who are... I try to make it a mission in life to get people who had Shakespeare ruined for them in high school to give him a shot. A solid production of, oh, one of the romantic comedies can be both delightful and totally accessible to the novice.

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: At present Tom Holland seems right to tackle my formative years. The title, to quote my best friend about me: “Stranger as the Years Go On”.

If you could go back in time and see any play or musical you missed, what would it be?:  Lately I have been kicking myself for missing Annaleigh Ashford in Sylvia. She has been wonderful in everything I’ve seen her do, and I have a weakness for people playing animals.

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: In art, silly/sappy teen comedies. In life, literally everything I eat.

If you weren’t working in theater, you would be _____?: Working in film, as I do, so, boring answer, huh. Outside the arts, I guess some kind of number cruncher, finance sort, though I fear I lack the killer instinct.

What’s up next?: Whatever someone wants to go forward! Right now I’m writing a couple of short stories for fun. I enjoy the challenges that come with trying one medium or another, seeing what you can do on the page or the stage or the screen. Sometimes, as I found with Miranda, something that begins as one kind of project you realize works better as another...