Meet Matt Neufeld who is playing Nathan Radley in LTA's To Kill a Mockingbird.
Tell us a little bit about your character. What single word would you use to describe him?
I play Nathan Radley, the older brother of Boo Radley. Nathan only appears here and there, but the character does do something quite pivotal in the story. He is mysterious, reclusive, an introvert, he doesn't say much, he's protective of Boo, and he's a bit of a mystery. Thus, the one word I would use to describe Nathan is mysterious.
What were some of the challenges you faced while working on this piece?
The challenge is to try and do something interesting, notable, and memorable with Nathan in his brief scenes and to get across to the audience that even though Nathan is a small supporting role, his presence does matter.
What do you hope the audience takes away from this play?
I hope that the audience experiences a variety of emotions, thoughts, ideas, lessons, morals, themes, and messages because all of that is there in the book, film, and play. To Kill a Mockingbird covers many important issues and is designed to make people stop, think, listen, learn, and to leave the theatre thinking about the variety of people who exist in this world and how they differ in their ideas. They should also think about racism and how dangerous it is.
What have you learned about yourself in playing this role?
I've learned how to try and make a character with few lines and few scenes stand out and be vital, interesting, and noteworthy in the context of the overall play. I've also learned that no matter who you are, no matter what role you are playing, no matter how talented you are, no one can upstage or take attention away from a smart, nice, hard-working, talented, and cute child actor!
How does this show differ from other shows you have worked on?
I've worked on many shows in film, television, the web, and theater but few come along with the legacy, impact, influence, importance, and enduring cultural resonance that arrives with To Kill a Mockingbird. The book is one of the most read, loved, influential, and important books of the past 56 years. Also, few other shows that I've worked on are able to so delicately, eloquently, and neatly combine varying elements of drama, tragedy, comedy, and every human emotion, sentiment, nostalgia, warmth, and intelligence as wonderfully as To Kill a Mockingbird.
How long have you been acting? How did you get involved with LTA?
I have been acting regularly since I was ten years old. I got involved in theater as a child because acting and performing were natural and intuitive. I wanted to play characters to try and be someone else and entertain people. I got involved with the wonderful Little Theatre of Alexandria by simply responding to an audition call.
What advice would you give others who want to get involved with theater?
Study, study, study but also have fun, fun, fun. Acting and working in theater should be, above all, fun and enjoyable! Read as many books as you can on acting and theater, go out to auditions, volunteer, talk to other actors and others working in theater about their experiences.