Friday, April 1, 2016

To Kill a Mockingbird - meet cast member Joel Durgavich

Meet Joel Durgavich who is playing Lynch Mob Member #2 / Clerk in LTA's To Kill a Mockingbird.

Tell us about your character.  How would you describe them in one word?
The single word to describe my character would be: confused. Some days, Lynch Mob Member #2 holds a steady job at the county courthouse and seems like a reasonably well adjusted individual, but at night when he's gotten shined up hanging out with that Sarum bunch, he just goes along with the crowd.  At heart he's just a man looking to belong.

What were some challenges you faced while working on this piece?
The biggest challenge of the character was trying to capture that tension of wanting to belong.  When Lynch Mob Member #2 is speaking he is really just trying to fit in; he does what he does to gain the respect of his peers.  He would be just as happy sitting and drinking all evening, but he gone out for a lynching hoping that this will actual improve his standing in the group.  

What do you hope the audience takes away from this play?
This play covers a difficult period of transition in US history.  Hopefully, people see the beginning of a positive change and can see that although everything is not perfect, in today's society in the US intolerance is the exception and not the norm.

How long have you been acting?
Since I have never been on stage or acted, everything about the experience is new.  Frank has been a very encouraging director and the cast has been a joy to work with.

How did you get involved with LTA?
My involvement with LTA occurred because of my son who took acting classes at LTA and performed in several productions of A Christmas Carol.  Now that he is off to college, I thought I would give myself an opportunity to be on stage and Frank and the rest of the casting staff were generous enough to give this opportunity.

What advice would you give others who want to get involved in theatre?
If someone would like to be in theater, I think the best advice is get involved.  Start with volunteering for set construction, costume design, ushering, whatever. Consider taking classes if you really want to have a main role on stage.  And lastly, just take that leap and try out for a play and enjoy the experience even if you don't get a role.  You will learn a lot by trying.

What have you learned about yourself in playing this role?
Playing the character is a reminder that the US did go through a dark period which shouldn't be forgotten lest we repeat the mistakes of the past.  We also need to remember that going along with the crowd is rarely a good reason for doing something.  We need to have integrity and be willing to stand up for what we believe - balancing respect for differing opinions with willingness to express out own opinions.

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