2015 Best Supporting Actor in a Play Nominee: Ryan Landry as Harold in Zeitgeist Stage Company's "The Boys in the Band"

Before we announce our 2015 ArtsImpulse Award Winners, we are proud to present our 2015 ArtsImpulse Nominee Interview Series. 

NOTE: If you were nominated for a 2015 ArtsImpulse Theatre Award, and you would like to participate in our 2015 ArtsImpulse Nominee Interview Series, please email us at brian@artsimpulse.com

Photo Credit: Michael von Redlich.

Photo Credit: Michael von Redlich.

Ryan Landry is an iconic presence in the Greater Boston theatre scene, most notably known for his outstanding and hilarious work with his company, The Gold Dust Orphans. In Mart Crowley's The Boys in the Band, Ryan's Harold was biting, aloof, and experienced, creating a dynamic and memorable character for a new generation of audiences to appreciate this important play. In his Interview, Ryan talks about the challenges of the Boston theatre scene, his favorite places to relax, and his favorite (and even lucky!) piece of clothing. 

Hi, Ryan, and thanks for talking with us at ArtsImpulse.  Can you start by introducing yourself to our readers and telling us a little bit about yourself? 

My name is Ryan Landry, and I am an alcoholic.

Tell us about your character in Zeitgeist Stage’s The Boys in the Band.  Who was he, what did he want, and how did he fit in within this group of men? 

I believe Harold to be one part early hippie, one part "Queen Bee" and one part Satan. He has boiled the very essence of “snark” down to its purest form. Yet, he is human, and perhaps the only character in the play living in reality. It seems to me that what he really wants out of life is something he will never have. That would be true love.

True love (in order for it to operate without too many break downs) requires at least a small tinge of innocence. Harold depleted any innocence that he may have once possessed in the experimental follies of his youth. He has now more or less resigned himself to being the captain of his own hopelessly jaded ship.

Do you have a group of friends similar to the men in the play?  Did you relate at all to the struggles of these characters?  If so, which characters, and why?

Yes, in fact, from the time I came out at the age of fifteen (on the streets of New Haven no less), I hung around with people just like Harold, Michael and Emory. They were the only “teachers” available to us at that time, and we soon learned that it was better to worship at the alter then to talk back. Those who couldn’t keep up with the barbs and daggers being thrown around the room were quickly dismissed. It was almost like being a supporting player in an old Robin Hood movie. If you didn’t know when to duck … you were soon written out of the picture. 

What have been some of your biggest challenges in Boston theatre, either as a performer, writer, director, or producer?

My biggest challenge is getting it all done. Getting all these ideas out of my brain and onto the stage within the short time I have left on this planet. 

Also, casting has been as issue lately. As the Orphans get more and more popular, it makes sense that we should be searching out more and more talent. The fact that we haven’t done so is due partly to my laziness and partly to my sense of loyalty. Once someone is in the family, they stay there and I begin to write parts specifically for those people and only for those people. But as always with life, some of the Orphans have recently moved away, others have married and had babies, some have passed onto the great beyond and still others have simply given up the theater. Admittedly, I‘m the one who should be going out and seeing more plays in town as there are many actors in the Boston theater community that I have never seen, and they in turn have never seen an Orphans show. Hopefully, that will change in the coming months.

We will soon be making an independent film and you would think that I would have a stack of head shots a mile high. I don’t. But I should. 

Cowboy (Ryan Wingert) and Harold (Ryan Landry) cuddle on the couch as Michael (Victor Shopov) looks on in Zeitgeist Stage Company's  The Boys in the band  (Photo Credit: Richard Hall/Silverline images). 

Cowboy (Ryan Wingert) and Harold (Ryan Landry) cuddle on the couch as Michael (Victor Shopov) looks on in Zeitgeist Stage Company's The Boys in the band (Photo Credit: Richard Hall/Silverline images). 

Why do you think The Boys in the Band was ripe for a revival?  What do you think we can learn from the productions after all of these years?  What has changed and what hasn’t changed?

I have recently become friends with the play’s author, Mart Crowley, and he sums it up better than I ever could: “It has never really fallen out of the public eye. It's been made into a film, been revived Off-Broadway every decade or so, produced around the country and the world, fallen out of favor and fallen into favor. But it has never stopped being talked about.”

I believe that there is much to learn from the play as it is a true human document. That is to say that its characters actually existed. Perhaps never physically, but each of the party-goers represents a type of person who can easily be found “within the ether.”

The only difference I see between the gays of yesteryear and the gays of today is that you had to be brave enough to confront, compliment, insult, and love people face-to-face in 1968. Today, we just do it through our cell phones. 

Miscast!  What roles would you love to play but because of reasons (age, gender, race, etc.), you might not traditionally be cast? 

Thanks to having written over sixty plays musicals and adaptations I have been lucky enough to have played every role I have ever wanted to, from Joan of Arc to Joan Crawford. I’ve played men, women, unborn embryos, Gods, devils, politicians, bums, royalty, skanks, old ladies, teenage girls, yuppies, and drug addicts.

But if I had my way I suppose I would have liked to have been in the original cast of Bewitched

Where are some of your favorite places to relax? 

I don’t relax. But if I did I suppose I would have to say my front porch in New Orleans and my hammock in Provincetown.

Do you have a favorite piece of clothing or accessory?  Why?

Yes. My red white and blue leather motorcycle jacket once worn by a trick motorcyclist in a traveling circus. I once gave it away to one of the Orphans who was going through some personal issues at the time, but once those were worked out, [the person] gave it back. I guess [the Orphan] knew how much it meant to me. 

If you could change one thing from the past, what would it be and why? 

I would have liked to have been there during the Annunciation. 

What is a motto, lesson, or quote that you live by? 

“To live only to dream and to die only to rest.”

Do you have any upcoming projects?

How much time do you have?

Yes, we will be doing Legally Blind-The Helen Keller Musical this spring 2016, and then right into Brown is the New Pink with Varla Jean Merman in Provincetown.

Do you have anything else to share with our ArtsImpulse readers?

Yes, but let me rinse it off first.

2015 Best Supporting Actor in a Play Nominee: Alex Marz as Orestes/Young Agamemnon in Fresh Ink Theatre's "The Clytemnestriad"

Before we announce our 2015 ArtsImpulse Award Winners, we are proud to present our 2015 ArtsImpulse Nominee Interview Series. 

NOTE: If you were nominated for a 2015 ArtsImpulse Theatre Award, and you would like to participate in our 2015 ArtsImpulse Nominee Interview Series, please email us at brian@artsimpulse.com.

Photo Credit:  David Costa .

Photo Credit: David Costa.

Alex Marz does double duty in Fresh Ink Theatre Company's new play, The Clytemnestriad by A. Nora Long. Alex's empathetic and sweet performance was one of the hallmarks in this adaptation and retelling of the classic Greek myth. In his Interview, Alex describes his two roles in this play, his favorite play, and his dorkiest qualities!

Hi, Alex. Can you start by telling us a little about yourself?  Where are you from?  What brought you to Boston?  What are you doing now?

Hi! I actually grew up in Lexington, Massachusetts, just outside the city in the ‘burbs, so Boston has always been my city. After undergrad at Connecticut College, I moved in with some friends in Allston and started acting as much as I could.

I have recently relocated to New York City where I am getting my MFA in Acting at Columbia University. I love country music, coffee, and can quote nearly every episode of The Office. And I proudly rock my Sox hat everywhere I go in NYC.

Tell us about your characters in The Clytemnestriad.  Who was Orestes?  Who was Young Agamemnon?  How did these characters work as played by the same actor?

These characters were such a blast to tackle. The brilliant A. Nora Long really dug into The Oresteia to find the humanity behind the original characters, and found a fantastic way to reimagine them through a more modern lens, while keeping the original story generally intact.

In Nora’s script, Orestes is really a regular teenager. When he was very young, he was sent away to boarding school, and he has never seen his family since then. So you can imagine the stress this boy experiences when his sister Electra (played so brilliantly and crazily by Shanae Burch) rolls in demanding that he kill his mother to avenge the murder of his father; it’s a lot to take on with midterms coming up.

Finding the journey from the awkward, high-school boy to the matricidal, tormented man was a real challenge. On the flip side, Young Agamemnon was born to fight, a completely different personality than his shy and unassuming son. He is aggressive, unapologetic and frankly, kind of an ass. 

Young Agamemnon (Alex Marz) and Young Helen (Melody Martin) in  Fresh Ink Theatre 's  The Clytemnestriad  (Photo Credit: Louise Hamill). 

Young Agamemnon (Alex Marz) and Young Helen (Melody Martin) in Fresh Ink Theatre's The Clytemnestriad (Photo Credit: Louise Hamill). 

I think the real benefit of portraying both of these characters is seeing how two types of men could be alive in one person. When I would enter as Young Agamemnon, it was clear that I was still Orestes in body, but we worked hard to present the strength and aggression that Agamemnon (wonderfully portrayed by Rob Cope) carried with him so naturally. Every Orestes has the potential to be or become an Agamemnon, and vice versa. 

What was it like working on a new play?  What were some of the challenges?  What did you learn about yourself as an actor, or about rehearsing and performing a play?

Working on new plays is such an amazing experience and I am so grateful that Fresh Ink Theater Company is offering an outlet for new playwrights to develop their work. This show was a wonderful and collaborative effort throughout the whole process. Nora and our amazing director, Caitlin Lowans, had such clear visions and were always on similar wavelengths, so we were able to launch into rehearsals with a clear structure and goal. It felt like the actors were welcome to move in any way they wanted. To say “let me try this!” - and sometimes it would work and sometimes it would totally blowup – but that’s what rehearsals are for, right?

It was really valuable, as an actor, to be working in a room like that - especially when the characters were being developed for their first full-scale production. Things needed to be tested and broken down and rebuilt constantly, and without a supportive environment that would have been extremely difficult to do. Our cast and creative team all worked really well together, and I believe that what we built was a reflection of that. 

Do you have a favorite play?  Why?  Do you have a role that you would want to play in it?

I do - The Zoo Story by Edward Albee. I think that Jerry is a fascinating character. There are so many aspects of his character I love. His longing to make a connection with anyone or anything is truly heartbreaking and so relatable. I also love the simplicity of the script. It doesn’t require anything more than two actors and a park bench, which puts the focus of the play on the words and the meaning behind them. This kind of script is always so much fun to work on as an actor.

Actually, thinking back on the rehearsal process of The Clytemnestriad, one of Jerry’s lines really resonates with me: “Sometimes a person has to go a very long distance out of his way to come back a short distance correctly.” As artists, we are constantly finding new paths and creating new ideas. Like I said before, sometimes these ideas are just nonsensical and don't work for the final product, but the experience of creating a wrong answer in pursuit of the search for the right answer always informs the final product brilliantly. 

The Zoo Story has always been at the top of my list of favorites, and I hope one day I can really dive in and play Jerry in a full production. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it.

Why do you think that we return to mythology?  What did we have to learn or think about in The Clytemnestriad?

The simplest answer is: mythology is just the coolest. I grew up, as I’m sure a lot of us did, reading as much of it as I could. The stories are so epic; in a sense they are really what theater is about: Gods and humans. Questions of why we are here and who really controls our destiny. Mythology tackles the grand questions in grand ways. 

Orestes (Alex Marz) and Electra (Shanae Burch) in  Fresh Ink Theatre 's  The Clytemnestriad  (Photo Credit: Louise Hamill). 

Orestes (Alex Marz) and Electra (Shanae Burch) in Fresh Ink Theatre's The Clytemnestriad (Photo Credit: Louise Hamill). 

In The Clytemnestriad, we are shown the ripple effect of excessive pride. The House of Atreus has been cursed for years, but Agamemnon really blows it when he displays his hubris before the Gods, claiming that he is a greater hunter and warrior than they. In response, they turn off the wind so that he can’t get his fleet to the war in Troy to fight alongside Brad Pitt. Our play picks up just after Agamemnon apologizes to the Gods by sacrificing his daughter Iphigenia (the amazing Melody Martin) – something his wife Clytemnestra (played incredibly by Jade Guerra) is not too keen on. This sets off a chain of events that ultimately leave us with a very bloody situation, but the moral of the story is, humility is the key to not dying in a bloody, family-wide murder/”sacrifice” fest.

What do you think is your geekiest or dorkiest quality or interest?  Why?

I am so heavy into the world of Game of Thrones it’s almost frightening. I have read all the books and eagerly anticipate the next one – George, you take your time, my man – and have even read (and reread…) the book The World of Ice and Fire – a fictional history of the world of Game of Thrones

I am also a huge fan of “dad jokes.” I could have written all these answers down for you by hand, but my pencil ran out of lead. It was pretty pointless . . .

If you could relive one memory or moment in your life, what would it be?  Why?  Would you change anything?

When I was in high school, I went out to Colorado Springs to work on a ranch as part of a community service trip. That whole experience is something I've always wanted to go back to. We would move cattle on horseback, we rebuilt a one room school house, we lived without electricity in that school house while we built it - the whole time it was like something out of a novel. I wouldn't change a single moment of that experience, I mean… I was a cowboy. It was incredible.

What has been the strangest thing that you have been asked to do onstage?

I was once in a scene that ended with my character cutting out the tongue of another character. We figured out how to make it look pretty real (and gruesome), but it involved me carrying around a cow tongue in my pocket for the entire scene. That was definitely a strange moment.

For what are you most thankful?

I am extremely thankful for my family and friends who have always stood by me. The life of an actor is a tough and confusing one and even when I doubt what I’m doing they have always supported me and pushed me to keep going. It means the world to me. I am thankful for them, and for Game of Thrones.

Do you have any upcoming projects?

At the moment, I am about halfway through the second semester of my first year at Columbia, so all my projects right now are for class. Grad school is rad school.

Do you have anything else to share with our ArtsImpulse readers?

I am truly honored to be nominated for this award. This is the first time I have ever been nominated for anything like this, and it is humbling and amazing. The Boston Arts community is full of amazing and talented people; it is the greatest community there is. I am honored to have been a part of it. I miss it every day and look forward to returning. Break legs to all!

2015 Best Supporting Actor in a Play: William Bowry as Queen Elizabeth (And Others) in Bad Habit Productions' "Virginia Woolf's Orlando"

Before we announce our 2015 ArtsImpulse Award Winners, we are proud to present our 2015 ArtsImpulse Nominee Interview Series.

NOTE: If you were nominated for a 2015 ArtsImpulse Theatre Award, and you would like to participate in our 2015 ArtsImpulse Nominee Interview Series, please email us at brian@artsimpulse.com

Photo Credit: Brett Williams.

Photo Credit: Brett Williams.

William Bowry played one of the many supporting roles in Bad Habit Productions' Virginia Woolf's Orlando, but he stood out for his commitment to supporting Orlando and the story. His Queen Elizabeth, especially, was a majestic but layered portrayal, a gender-fluid exploration of grace and loneliness. In his Interview, Will discusses his background (we have a Scotsman!), the three things he would bring to a desert island, and his new big project (he's building his stamina!). 

Hi, Will, it is wonderful to talk with you.  Can you tell our ArtsImpulse readers a little about yourself?

Well, I am actually a native of the UK, having been born in bred in the Highlands of Scotland, before moving to Boston in 2012. Prior to that, I was working as an education director at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre, a producing house in the midlands of the UK.

What is your performing background and/or training?  How did you get involved in acting?  Have you tried any other artistic or creative pursuits?

I have been involved in theatre for many years, having been part of the National Youth Theatre of the UK when I was at high school. In terms of training, I studied English Literature at the University of York and then trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

As for other creative pursuits, one of my new-found passions (which I have actually developed since living in Boston), has been Swing Dancing, a swing style of jazz music that developed in the 1920s and 1940s. I have recently started competing in national competitions, which certainly demands a very different style of performance!

Talk to us about Virginia Woolf’s Orlando.  What is the story?  Who did you play?  Why do you think that this play is or should be performed now?

Virginia Woolf’s Orlando, is a majestic, if rather discombobulating text. To try and summarize it doesn’t do justice to Woolf’s novel, but it is often dubbed as a romp through the family history of Woolf’s partner, Vita Sackville-West. It sprawls four hundred years in which Orlando, the novel’s eponymous protagonist, meets many of the literary and aristocratic figures during this time, noticeably Queen Elizabeth, whom I played. Orlando also starts the novel as a man, and ends as a woman.

Therefore, I believe that the reason this play was so timely was largely due to society’s greater acceptance and understanding of gender identity. The notion and discussion of gender is, in many ways, the central spine of the novel, and I believe is extremely prescient given the cultural conversations that have suddenly become more acceptable in the last couple of years.

Queen Elizabeth (William Bowry) reacts in Bad Habit Productions'  Virginia Woolf's Orlando  (Photo Credit:   Paul Cantillon, Lidec Photo  ). 

Queen Elizabeth (William Bowry) reacts in Bad Habit Productions' Virginia Woolf's Orlando (Photo Credit: Paul Cantillon, Lidec Photo). 

What is the scariest thing about performing for you?  What is the most satisfying part?

I think, particularly when working in the context of an ensemble, the scariest part is ensuring you don’t let your fellow performers down; this production was heavily based on ensemble work, both in terms of dividing the Chorus’ lines (Sarah Ruhl, the playwright, specifies that the Chorus can be played by one, or many actors) and physical movement. This inter-dependency, especially in the first few shows, certainly created some nerves.

However, without doubt, the most satisfying part is when you as a performer (as part of an ensemble) successfully tell the story of the play, with the clarity that you had all envisioned.

What are some of your favorite stories?  Why?

I think all stories lead back to Shakespeare – and in that, I don’t just mean the narratives of the stories, but the manner and richness of language that he employed.

If you were stranded on a desert island, what are three things that you would bring with you, and why? 

1)      A cricket bat: I fell in love with this beautiful game that still baffles many Americans from a very young age. I imagine I could fashion a ball from some unripe fruit and happily play a quick game of cricket.

2)      My bicycle: I bike most places, and I still get a great deal of pleasure from cycling in even in the New England winter, although many have questioned my sanity! Although, I might worry about all that sand clogging up my gear chain.

3)      A copy of Shakespeare’s Complete Works: On the British radio show, Desert Island Discs (where people chose 10 songs to take to a desert island), the ‘complete works’ is the mandatory reading choice, so I feel like I should I take it along as well. It would also make an excellent paperweight . . .

Do you have any roles on your bucket list?  Do you have any activities or events on your bucket list?

As a man from Scotland, I would love to play the part of Bonnie Prince Charlie, recounting his failed attempts to win back the Scottish throne in 1745; the Jacobite rebellion, which he led, ultimately ended with the brutal Battle of Culloden, but the romance of his story remains undiminished.

What is something or someone that inspires you?  Why?

Queen Elizabeth (William Bowry) in Bad Habit Productions'  Virginia Woolf's Orlando  (Photo Credit:   Paul Cantillon, Lidec Photo  ). 

Queen Elizabeth (William Bowry) in Bad Habit Productions' Virginia Woolf's Orlando (Photo Credit: Paul Cantillon, Lidec Photo). 

Those who enter public service for the steadfast belief in changing the world for the better; many do so to seek fame, but for the few whose pursuit is the good of others, I will always be inspired by their work.

Tell us about a typical Saturday for you.  What do you do? With whom?

At the moment, a typical Saturday involves me getting up ungraciously early to do a rather long run, as I am training for the Boston Marathon to raise money for Mass Eye and Ear Institute. Feel free to check out my fundraising page:

https://www.crowdrise.com/teameyeandear2016/fundraiser/williambowry

However, once my legs have recovered, I’ll probably still be seen swing-dancing the night away in Boston.

Do you have any upcoming projects?

I am working on a dance project at Brandeis University, called Shoes On, Shoes Off, which will play for three nights in April 2016.

And apart from that – there is the small matter of running 26.2 miles on April 18, 2016!

Do you have anything else to share with our ArtsImpulse readers?

Not apart from thanking the teeming cultural melting-pot of Boston for the opportunities that I have enjoyed in this welcoming and eclectic city.

2015 Best Supporting Actor in a Play Nominee: Greg Maraio as Jonathon/Miranda in SpeakEasy Stage Company's "Casa Valentina"

Before we announce our 2015 ArtsImpulse Award Winners, we are proud to present our 2015 ArtsImpulse Nominee Interview Series.

NOTE: If you were nominated for a 2015 ArtsImpulse Theatre Award, and you would like to participate in our 2015 ArtsImpulse Nominee Interview Series, please email us at brian@artsimpulse.com.

Photo Credit:  Becca A. Lewis

Photo Credit: Becca A. Lewis

Greg Maraio was a dazzling presence in a star-studded cast of Casa Valentina at the SpeakEasy Stage Company in Boston.  His Jonathon featured remarkable growth and resiliency; Greg took us along for a journey with his Jonathan as we discovered a Miranda within us all. His ability to shine opened our eyes to his strength as a storyteller and performer. 

In his Interview, Greg tells us about the challenges in Casa Valentina, the best traits in a partner and best friend, and one of the roles on his bucket list.

Hi, Greg, and thank you for joining us for the 2015 ArtsImpulse Nominee Interview Series.  Can you start by telling us a bit about yourself?

Hi, Brian, thank you and ArtsImpulse for the nomination. I am a Boston native and I have been working here as an actor, director, and costumer for the past 10 years. My “day job” is my own costume business specializing in reproductions, cosplay, as well as film and television. I currently live in Revere, Massachusetts, with my husband and 3 “fur children.”

Who is Jonathon and what is Casa Valentina?  What is the play about?

Jonathon is young, married school teacher in the early 1960s, who has been secretly cross-dressing in his basement for a few years. One weekend, when his wife is away, he takes a trip to “Casa Valentina” (a retreat for cross-dressers in the Catskills) to let his alter-ego, Miranda, emerge and to be around others like him for the very first time. Needless to say, it is quite a journey for him.

There is humor, there is heartache, there is a fantastic makeover. As for the play as a whole, it’s hard to describe because there are many themes woven throughout by Playwright Harvey Fierstein. But, ultimately, I think it is about finding one’s true self, and all the beauty, pain, joy, and sacrifice that entails, not only for that person, but also for those who love him.

What was the most challenging part about this production?  What was the most fun?  What did you learn about yourself as a performer?  As a person?

I’d definitely say that the most challenging part of this production was embracing everything it takes to be a girl (specifically one in the 1960s). I have a new found respect for actresses who have to come in an hour early to do makeup, hair, etc. Between the heels, girdles, and pantyhose, it took a while to have everything fall into place and feel right, but, when it did, it was an amazing experience.

The cast of SpeakEasy Stage Company's  Casa Valentina  (Photo Credit:   Glenn Perry Photography  ).

The cast of SpeakEasy Stage Company's Casa Valentina (Photo Credit: Glenn Perry Photography).

The most fun was, undoubtedly, working with this amazing cast and crew. It really was an embarrassment of talent, from Director Scott Edmiston [2015 ArtsImpulse Theatre Award Nominee for Best Director of a Musical] to the entire cast. I learned so much from being around them. I mean, when Tommy Derrah [George/Valentina, and 2015 ArtsImpulse Theatre Award Nominee for Best Leading Actor in a Play] is working, you watch. You take notes. It’s a masterclass.

As for what I learned about myself as a performer and a person, I’d say I learned to stop second-guessing myself. So many times I have thought, “Oh that is such a great part, but I’m not right for it,” or “They won’t cast me in that role, I bet they have someone in mind.” This was one of the very first times I put that aside and thought, “Why not just go in to the audition and do the best damn job you can, and let them decide?” I’m so glad that I did.

If you could eat anything for the rest of your life (and not gain a pound!), what would it be and why?

Oh gosh, here is the million-dollar question. Well, I was raised in a big Italian family, and pasta was served at almost every meal, so it’s definitely comfort food. For me, it can be dangerous, so it’s a slippery slope. That being said, it would be a very close call between pasta and cheese. But I’m going to go with pasta. Also, we call the red sauce that goes on pasta “gravy,” not sauce, in my hometown of East Boston.

What do you think the best qualities are in a life partner?  In a best friend?

Humor is very important to me. I love laughter. If I am going to spend the rest of my life with anyone (life partner or friend), then I hope to still be cracking each other up when we are 90 years old. Communication, supporting one another is key. Lifting one another up.

You hear so much about “theatre widows”- husbands and wives who rarely see their loved one or spouse because of rehearsal and performance schedules. It’s important to support each other and find ways to spend time together especially during a production.

Bucket list! What are some roles on your bucket list?  Life experiences?

For me, Doubt by John Patrick Shanley is a perfect play. It’s one of my absolute favorites. I would love to play Father Flynn. Every character in that play is so brilliantly written, I hope it happens before I die.   I think there is still time (fingers crossed).

I’d love to be in a musical one day, so maybe one day I’ll take some voice lessons. I think I’m tone deaf, but I would love to maybe try to see if someone can work a miracle. Maybe that can be the plot of the musical.

If you were to dress up as a woman like Jonathon, what is one piece of clothing that you enjoy the most?  What would you enjoy the least?

Charlotte (Will McGarrahan*) shows Miranda (Greg Maraio) the evolution towards finding her self in SpeakEasy Stage Company's  Casa Valentina  (Photo Credit:   Glenn Perry Photography  ) (* Denotes a Member of Actors' Equity Association).

Charlotte (Will McGarrahan*) shows Miranda (Greg Maraio) the evolution towards finding her self in SpeakEasy Stage Company's Casa Valentina (Photo Credit: Glenn Perry Photography) (* Denotes a Member of Actors' Equity Association).

Well, based on my wardrobe as Miranda (Costume Designer Gail Buckley handmade my dress from scratch), I would say I enjoyed my pink brocade dress the most. It really became an extension of the character and I would just twirl around every time that I put it on.

My wig was a bit tough, since it went through quite a journey itself during the show.  It constantly needed to be styled and restyled, so sometimes renegade hairs would get caught in my mouth; one night I think I swallowed a few strands onstage. So, that wasn’t fun.

What is the scariest or weirdest thing that you have had to do onstage?

Well, that would be a tie between when I had to dance around in a metallic singlet with a giant bedazzled star on my crotch as the “Gogo doctor” in John KuntzNecessary Monsters (also at SpeakEasy Stage Company), and my first professional show, which was Flesh and Blood with Zeitgeist Stage Company. In Flesh and Blood, there was a scene in which the matriarch is trying to call her 3 children, and all three of them are having sexual relations of some kind, so there was 3 sex acts happening simultaneously on stage. It wasn’t handled vulgarly at all, but still definitely one of the craziest things I have been a part of theatrically.

I know that you design superhero outfits and costumes.  Do you have a favorite superhero?  A favorite super power?  If you could create your own, what super power would you have, and who would be your sidekick?  Most importantly of all, would you have a cape?

I love Wonder Woman. She’s probably at the top of the list. I just love the whole truth, beauty, and love thing.

I’d love to fly, but the ability to heal myself or others would be the one power I would want to have more than anything. Imagine that. Cancer, gone. Alzheimer’s, gone.

My sidekick(s) would be my three dogs - Sophia, Emma, and Casper. They would all have individual costumes too because they are all very different personality-wise.

As for a cape, I am going to go with yes. They hide a few sins and I think it just looks more dramatic, especially on a windy night of crime-fighting.

Do you have any upcoming projects?

Yes, I will be participating in “The Boston Project” with SpeakEasy Stage Company in February 2016. It’s a new play program where two local writers pen plays set here in town. It's culminating in a 2-week workshop period and staged-reading.

I’ll also be performing in a new play called Ward Nine by Bill Doncaster. Then, it’s just gearing up for that magical time of year—audition season.

Do you have anything else to share with our ArtsImpulse readers?

I love Boston. I love theatre. I am so blessed to be able to do what I love in the city that I love. I’m so touched by this nomination. Casa Valentina was an absolute dream-come-true, in every way imaginable. I love Jonathon/Miranda with all my heart, and this is just gravy on the pasta.

Rita (Kerry Dowling*) and Jonathon (Greg Maraio) celebrate a wonderful weekend at SpeakEasy Stage Company's  Casa Valentina  (Photo Credit:   Glenn Perry Photography  ) (* Denotes a Member of Actors' Equity Association)

Rita (Kerry Dowling*) and Jonathon (Greg Maraio) celebrate a wonderful weekend at SpeakEasy Stage Company's Casa Valentina (Photo Credit: Glenn Perry Photography) (* Denotes a Member of Actors' Equity Association)