Wednesday, March 30, 2016

To Kill a Mockingbird - meet cast member Paul Donahoe

Meet Paul Donahoe who is playing Bob Ewell in LTA's To Kill a Mockingbird.

Tell us about your character.  What single word would you use to describe him?
Bob Ewell is not a good guy. Words to describe him ... despicable, deplorable, the definition of racism, filthy, alcoholic, engages in incest, cowardly, domestic violence, and the potential to murder. You get the idea? This man couldn't be more different than me. As an actor, it’s a wonderful opportunity to just go for it. I have to check my heart, soul and mind at the door and dig deep into the darkest places.

What do you hope the audience takes away from this show?
Sad but true, the issues we deal with in this classic story from 1935 mirror the same issues we are still dealing with today. Bigotry, ignorance. racial profiling, violence and murder are all around us. We see it the news on a daily basis, on the streets in cities across America, and even with our politicians. As the audience leaves the theater I would hope they ask themselves "Why and what can I personally do to promote love and acceptance?"

How does this show differ from other shows you have worked on?
As I look back on my training I feel there are a couple of different ways to approach a role. With Shakespeare, comedies and musicals I've always relied on technical training, but this role is different. With this play and other dramas, I feel I have to tap into a "method" approach and channel the character. 

How long have you been acting?  How did you get involved with LTA?
I was acting professionally in the early 80s in regional theater and then life took me on some other paths. I worked many years in the music business at Capitol/EMI Worldwide, was an adolescent addiction counselor, trained as a Master Gardener and the last 15 years worked with horses managing farms in upstate New York. I moved to Virginia recently. Found LTA, auditioned, and feel so privileged to be a part of this classic story.

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