Thursday, August 16, 2012

Spotlight On...David Marshall

Name: David Marshall

Hometown: Orleans, MA

Education: BA Philosophy BA Religion Ohio Wesleyan University, MFA New School Drama

Select Credits: Bat Boy (Pan, Provincetown Theater); A Little Class (Nathan, Manhattan Rep); Shining City (Ian, 59E59th)

Why theater?: Why not theater?! Although I love on-camera for different reasons, I love the creative food chain in theater...from playwright to director to actor.  I love the collaboration, the discussion, the quest for truth and meaning.  And there's no greater satisfaction for me than when I feel like I've taken the audience on a journey. It’s such an amazing exchange of emotion and intellect between actor and audience.  And sometimes it’s just about making children smile.  I had a summer stock gig doing the Wizard of Oz at Cape Repertory a few years ago. A little boy came around to the dressing room back-door  during intermission.  I asked him if he liked the show, and his eyes went wide, and he said “It’s the BEST EVER!”  That made every audition and every rejection totally worth it.

Tell us about Snow White Zombie Apocalypse: This current production written by Brent Lengel and directed by Jessica Creane is actually a continuation from the original collaboration produced by State of Play Productions, Inc. last year.  I’m so grateful to be joining the original cast! We actually explore some pretty heavy thematic material; gender roles and sexual norms, the eternal masculine (Prince Charming) and eternal feminine (Sleeping Beauty) are examined.  Is “happily ever after” a na├»ve premise or an achievable goal?  What does “true love” really look like? And then there’s The Big Bad Wolf Zombie and eating brains and stuff like that.  Interestingly enough, the play was loosely inspired by the tragic story of the Pruitt-Igoe housing projects in St. Louis.  The projects were built in the 1950’s as an idealistic utopian society, and a solution to housing the city’s poor.  Unfortunately, Pruitt-Igoe fell into severe decay and disrepair and had to be totally demolished by the 1970’s, partially because city officials and developers did not account for basic human nature.  So with Snow White Zombie Apocalypse, we’re looking at a similar state of circumstances.   The kingdom has fallen, and the castle is under siege.  The World, as our characters know it, is ending.  What happens to the human psyche when things fall apart and chaos reigns supreme?  What type of personality will adapt and even capitalize on chaos during such a crisis? Who will run? Who will fight? Who will fall victim to the Zombie Plague??? You have to come and watch to find out!!!

What is it like being a part of Snow White Zombie Apocalypse?:
It’s been SO much fun. I was totally ignorant of Zombie culture. My eyes have been opened.  And thanks to Lisa Kopitsky and Adam Alexander, I've been blessed with an amazing stage-combat education from working on this show. AND the most important thing to every actor: I love my costume.

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: I love courageous theater that challenges our perspective and pushes boundaries.  I like raw, dangerous performances that are fiercely present and vulnerable.  I like working with other artists who are willing to take risks and make truthful choices on stage.  We must strive to know ourselves, deeply, in order to know a character and play a character. You can’t share what you don’t have.  But as actors we have access to collective consciousness.  I believe no experience is beyond our capacity to empathize and learn from.  We share our deepest emotions and dreams and passions and secrets and if we have done our job well, the audience identifies and the truth resonates.  If we are authentic and truthful as actors, we are afforded the opportunity to be transported beyond ourselves, and into catharsis with each other and the audience.  I can think of no better place for the next revolution to be born! Occupy The Theater!

Any roles you’re dying to play?: John Proctor in Crucible is a dream role. You should see me with a beard.  Also Brick in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.

What’s your favorite showtune?: Really? Ok fine “Marry Me A Little” from Company….I’m a Romantic!

If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: I love strong direction so probably some of Broadway’s heavy hitters.  Doug Hughes comes to mind.

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: Oh God. Let's make it a campy musical. I would insist on Meryl Streep because she's the only one who could capture my complexity.  I'd call this "Narcissus fell in the Wishing Well".... I love it!

What show have you recommended to your friends?: I thought Unnatural Acts at Classic Stage last year was a play of epic magnitude.  The direction, the set design, the performances – all were breathtaking.  And Mark Rylance in Jerusalem. I made everyone go see that.

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: I’ve been eating frozen yoghurt on a daily basis for weeks now. 16 Handles is taking over Manhattan!

What’s up next?: I’m working on a new play by Liz Calvert called Fast in Fire, directed by Mason Beggs and produced by Theater HAN.  It’s an absurdist adaptation of the Hamlet story, distilled down to four characters.  It’s part of the Dream Up festival at Theater for the New City. Come see it!!!