Friday, October 13, 2017

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike- meet cast member Mario Font





What do I find appealing about Vanya and the show?
There are quite a few similarities between myself and Vanya. We are in different life situations, but despite that, he and I are both looking at the 'modern' world and shaking our heads at where we are. I have kids who are Spike's age, so I can relate to Vanya's bewilderment at how Spike can seemingly multitask. Vanya looks back longingly at the 50s, I look back longingly at the late 60s and early 70s with the same nostalgia.
As far as the show goes, I absolutely love how Durang weaves the heartfelt emotions and comedy amongst siblings over the course of a weekend. I'm an only child, but have seen enough family dynamics of friends and neighbors to know this type of situation happens, and happens frequently.
What have I learned about myself playing Vanya?
Let's get the main "thing" out of the way:  Holy cow, I CAN memorize a 4 page monologue and a 66 page script!  Yay me...   From an actor perspective, despite seeing a lot of similarities between myself and Vanya, I learned how to show an audience what I’m internally processing without being overly blatant about it.  I got confirmation that even in drama, there's comedy and vice versa. For the third time over the course of my acting experience, I have felt the true meaning of an ensemble - we all are great but we are excellent when we are together.  It's theater magic at its finest.

What do I want the audience to experience/take away from the show?
This play in 2010-2011, and premiered in 2012. 5 years later, we are living through many of the things referenced in the play - climate change, violent weather, lack of unifying experiences.  I hope the audience has the same "whoa, this is happening today too" moments that I have had over the course of the rehearsals. Of course, I want them to leave smiling and feeling better than when they came in.
How does this show differ from other shows I've worked on?
This is the first lead role I've had and the character is on stage pretty much the whole show, except for a couple of scenes.  I've not had that kind of stage time prior to this, and it's pretty taxing. I've acquired a new found respect for actors who are on stage for the whole show.

How long have I been acting and what made you get involved in theater?  How did I get involved with LTA?
My grammar school did spring musicals and from 6th grade on, I was in them. I continued in high school and college and then stopped until 2000, when my son and daughter were cast in a community theater production of Barnum out at Oatlands plantation in Leesburg. I wound up being the backstage dad during the rehearsals and run, and rediscovered my love of theatre. I was cast in a show in late 2000, and have been involved in theater ever since.   LTA was one of the theaters that cast me: Teahouse of the August Moon, The Ritz, and the Underpants.  I've had a gap and am thrilled to return to the LTA family.

What advice would you give others who are interested in working in theater?
1) Grow a thick skin - rejection is NOT for the faint of heart
2) Persistence pays off - it took my 5th audition for Vanya to be cast
3) If you're cast, get off book as quickly as possible - it will help with blocking and performance
4) ALWAYS be on your best behavior - at best, 2 degrees of separation in this area - you never know who you will be auditioning for next time.


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