The Fantasticks- meet cast member Stephen Yednock!
What I find appealing about this show is revisiting the material after doing the show 11 years ago and playing the character of Matt. This time I get to approach the show from a different perspective playing a parent instead of a young man. I'm having a lot of fun playing a character that can be funny but also poignant. For this character there's a lot of focus on a silly, comedic approach similar to an old vaudevillian style like Bert Lahr or Jackie Gleason or Jimmy Durante. For me, I always enjoy being silly on stage so I'm having a lot of fun. That being said there is still some seriousness and opportunity to show that this character really cares about his daughter. It's a great acting opportunity to have a part with that much nuance.
What have you learned about yourself in playing the role of “___”?
Bellomy is a funny and loving father in the show. He and Hucklebee work out a clever plan to get their children together as a couple by starting a fake feud between the families and forbidding their daughter and son from seeing each other knowing that if they forbid it their children will just disobey anyway and then end up together. Personally I dont know if I'd ever be so manipulative as a parent (well I hope not). Still playing this part gave me a little more of a perspective on how I'd act as potential parent if I were to have children. Hopefully I'm not building walls between houses or starting imaginary feuds with friends but after doing this show I'm looking at the effects I could have on a future daughter or son.
What do you want the audience to experience/take away from this show?
Although the show can seem rather simple in nature and uses a lot of theatrical elements there is still a great message behind all the stage conventions and "theater" that make it a universal theme that still reaches out to audiences. It's fun to use those theater conventions to get at that theme. The key elements of family, how parents relate to children and the love between two people and all that a romantic relationship entails are still themes that ring true whether it's 60 years ago when the play was written or today in 2019.
How does this show differ from other shows you have worked on?
Even though I have been doing community theater for 20 years, and this is my second time doing this show, every theater experience is different because you work with new actors and directors, often people you never met before. This is also my first time working with LTA and it has been great!
I'm so impressed with the talent and hard work put forth by everyone involved in this production. From our director, Eleanore Tapscott to all the gifted actors and artistic staff this will be a top notch production and I can't wait to show it off to an audience because I know they'll really enjoy it.
How long have you been acting and what made you get involved in theatre? How did you get involved with LTA?
I did some acting in high school and my dad encouraged me to audition for my first community theater production, The Music Man, the summer after I graduated high school, which was 20 years ago. Every since then I have been involved in community theater, mostly in MD based theaters, because I love to perform and be in front of an audience. I got involved with LTA after seeing an audition notice for this show. I loved doing it 10 years ago and wanted to revisit the material as a different character. I also knew that LTA had a reputation as an excellent theater company in the area from seeing previous productions and hearing from friends who had done shows there.
What advice would you give others who are interested in working in theatre?
Find a show you want to audition for, learn as much as you can ahead of time, and do it. It's a lot of work to do a show but it's worth it to see the smiles on the audiences faces.