Wednesday, April 18, 2012

BUS STOP Q&A with Doug Jarecki

BUS STOP had a fantastic opening weekend! Thanks to all of you who came out to support the show! If you have yet to see the show you still have plenty of time to get your tickets as it runs until April 29th. But in the mean time you can enjoy this interview with BUS STOP actor, the very funny, Doug Jarecki.  

What is it like “going back” to a semi-academic theatre setting with this BUS STOP collaboration? 

Doug Jarecki
I was initially concerned about how I would "go back" to a semi-academic theatre setting, so I did what any actor would do and prepared myself.  I semi-immersed myself in everything I could.  I baked cookies only using semi-sweet morsels, I led my rec league basketball team to the semi-finals, and I even watched all three Transformer movies.  What does that have to do with anything, you ask?  Optimus Prime, the trilogy's hero, transforms into a semi-truck.  A less prepared actor would have never known that.

Would you like to share any memories of your academic theatre experience?

I was not a theatre major when I started out, and I had always been curious about being on stage, so one day I decided I would audition for something before I got a "real job" in the "real world."  I auditioned for a musical, even though I could not sing.  Thankfully, they needed warm bodies to fill out the cast, and I was able to be a part of this world.  That's when the acting bug hit me.....or bit me, or whatever the phrase is.  Either way, it left a mark.  I spent the rest of my collegiate career soaking up everything I could from anyone generous enough to share their insights with me.  And none of it would have happened had I not taken a step out of my normal routine and tried something that scared the living daylights out of me.  So I guess my academic theatre experience gave me a barometer with which to measure all future projects--if it scares the heck out of you, it's probably worth doing.

What lesson do you hope comes out of this collaboration between UW-Parkside and MCT? Do you feel that you have learned something as well?  

I have never been a part of a show and not learned something.  I tell people it's because I am always open to learning, but it probably has more to do with my overall lack of knowledge to begin with.  Either way, this has been another tremendous learning experience for me.  I felt Lisa (Kornetsky) created a great environment for play and creativity, but kept it all moving in a positive and productive direction.  That's a difficult balancing act, especially considering the widely varied backgrounds and experience levels of the performers.  It was also a pleasure getting to know the UW-Parkside performers.  I don't know that I would have taken the time to do so without Mr. Katula's encouragement.  Our dressing room stations were right next to each other in the beginning, but every day Mr. Katula would move my stuff next to someone new while practically begging me to talk to someone else, "anyone else" as he put it.  He's a generous man, and one day I hope to call him friend.....or even Dan. 

Tell us your first reaction upon reading BUS STOP.

I really do love this play.  I first performed it 15 years ago, and it is a real treat to be able to revisit a script with an entirely new cast, new director, and new role.  The connections in it are real and widely varied.  There is no one set rule for how to connect with someone, and this play lets us see the different shades of how we go about forming, nurturing, and even severing those connections.  It was a privilege to see how each performer brought those connections to life.

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