Thursday, May 26, 2016

The History Boys - meet cast member Ned Read

What do you find appealing about your character and this show?
I love the fact that this show is simultaneously entertaining, enlightening, amusing, and emotionally compelling.  About Headmaster - I like that he is direct, opinionated, and just a tad irritating.  He's fun to play!

What do you want the audience to take away from this show?
In addition to hoping they will be entertained (and it IS an entertaining play), I hope audiences will find themselves pondering questions about just what "education" is - or should be.  The questions raised about competing goals and values in education, and even about how history is portrayed (and taught) are as contemporary and relevant in the U.S. in 2016 as they were in 1980s England (the era and setting of this play).  I also hope that audiences will be tussling with questions about sexuality and the boundaries and guidelines for appropriate behavior among adolescents and the adults in their lives.  It would also be nice if audiences find themselves wanting to dig a little deeper into history and literature - something I hope equally for myself.

How long have you been acting?  How did you get involved with LTA?
Most of my life - off and on.  I started performing in community theatre in York, Pennsylvania when I was a child; my first "starring" role was Winthrop in The Music Man when I was 10 years old.  Many years later, I went through the Studio Theatre Acting Conservatory curriculum in D.C. and have been acting steadily - stage, TV and film - since then.  This is my first show with LTA.  I fell in love with this play 8 years ago when I understudied the roles of Hector and Headmaster at Studio Theatre, so I jumped at the chance to audition for the role of Headmaster at LTA.

What advice would you give others who are interested in working in theatre?
Start somewhere!  Be willing to do small roles and commit to pursuing excellence.  And remember, you can take acting seriously and have fun at the same time.

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