by Abram Yarbro, dramaturg

See How They Run opened on Friday, November 7. Before one of our final rehearsals, I sat down with each member of the cast and asked them to introduce themselves, talk about their character, the show, and if they had any fun bloopers they wanted to share. To meet the other members of the cast, check out Part One and Part Two.

Interview with Canute Peterson

Abram Yarbro: Tell me about yourself.

Canute Peterson plays the escaped Russian spy.

Canute Peterson plays the escaped Russian spy.

Canute Peterson: I’m from Blue Springs, Missouri which is just about an hour east of Kansas City and I am the eighth of ten children. My older siblings did theatre in high school and when I got to that age I started doing it and it’s something I’ve always enjoyed. I also enjoy drawing, playing frisbee and soccer.

AY: Tell me about your character, the Russian.

CP: The Russian is an escaped spy so he is in a tricky spot when he enters. He is trying to get away without being detected so when he is kind of forced into a position where he has to lean on other people to not be detected it’s a stressful situation for him. For him, it isn’t a situation of a silly misunderstanding, this is a question of his freedom. He will use whatever means necessary to make sure that happens.

AY: What is your favorite part of the show?

CP: I like his (the Russians) presence. The show is very comedic but my character really isn’t. There are some funny things that happen as a result of the fact that I’m there but I don’t really do anything that is funny. A lot of the roles that I’ve played in the past have been more comedic roles. It is especially funny to me that my character in a farce is more serious than the comedic characters I have played in the past that were not in a farce.

AY: Do you have any bloopers you want to share?

CP: There are a couple of scenes where I am physically aggressive to some of the other characters and it took a little practice to get to the point where I wasn’t actually physically beating the person I was supposed to be fake hitting. The fake hitting was hard to get right but we eventually figured it out.

Interview with Rodger Sorensen

Abram Yarbro: Tell me about yourself.

Rodger Sorensen plays the Bishop of Lax

Rodger Sorensen plays the Bishop of Lax

Rodger Sorensen: I’ve been here for 18 years, on my 19th year. I taught at BYU Idaho for 17 years and I even taught down at the College of Eastern Utah for 5 years. That is where our President went (BYU’s President Worthen). I did my Undergrad and Masters here (BYU) and my doctorate at University of Texas Dallas in Aesthetics and Performance Theory.

AY: Tell me about your character, the Bishop of Lax

RS: His family goes back to the Irish. Lax came from the working-class. I was the second son which I appreciated very much because the first son had to into the business and I did not want to go into the family business. I wanted to go into something a little less physically strenuous so I went into the clergy.

I like to read and I like to go for rides in the country and I like to garden. When I relax at night I sometimes like a little bit of brandy but just a little bit because Bishop and vicars should never get drunk. But in the show I drink a little bit more and you can’t blame me because everything in this house goes wacky!

AY: What is your favorite part of the show

RS: My favorite part is, of course, Humphrey. I like all of the characters. I like the show because it allows us to laugh at ourselves. That’s all it is, a little bit of a romp in the country and that allows us to laugh at ourselves, go home and say, “life isn’t that hard after all because we can laugh at ourselves once in a while.” Of course working with Barta, she is an incredible person and director.

AY: Do you have any bloopers you want to share?

I’ll defer my bloopers to Humphrey (Jordan Nicholes).

Interview with Jordan Nicholes

Abram Yarbro: Tell me about yourself

Jordan Nicholes plays the Reverend Arthur Humphrey

Jordan Nicholes plays the Reverend Arthur Humphrey

Jordan Nicholes: I’m a nomad, I come from all over. I grew up in Seattle Washington and moved around to many places: Pennsylvania, New York, and San Antonio Texas where I spent a lot of time. I went on a mission to the Philippines and came back to Fort Worth Texas. I study acting here at BYU and I love the program. I’m on the BFA acting track. I think we have a great program with great faculty members. I love to learn and develop my craft, it is what I spend a lot of my time on. I love the theatre!

AY: Tell me about you character, Reverend Arthur Humphrey.

JN: Well, Humphrey is described in the script as a mild man. He is a very goodhearted man and very very innocent. He just wants to help other people. He is very… I would say sheltered… and basically he is kind of an idiot. It is funny, if you look at the structure of the script and a lot of the jokes and punchlines Humphrey is kind of the straight man which is ironic because he is also kind of the comedic relief. What I mean by that is this: Humphrey comes in at the third act when the crazy antics of the play is in full swing. He is the unknowing outsider that just walked in and the reason his character is funny is because he is reacting to all this random stuff. It is heightened a little because he is a big idiot and he doesn’t know what is going on.

AY: What is your favorite part of the show

JN: I like the show because it is fairly simple. It is a small cast. I think there are a lot of good opportunities for all the characters to interact with each other and have some good scene work. There’s not a lot of spectacle, it all has to do with character interaction. There’s no deep message that the play is trying to send and that is the place of a farce. It’s a place where you can escape your life for a little bit, in a healthy way, and enjoy yourself and have fun.

AY: Do you have any bloopers you want to share?

JN: So here is the thing about bloopers, throughout the rehearsal process and even during tech week the bloopers that occurred inevitably ended up in the show. So if you want to see bloopers, come see the show because if weird mistakes happened, they were usually pretty funny so we kept them.

I always like to try new things and specifically the other night during a dress rehearsal I tried something new with a glass of milk. Ali (Penelope) thought it was really gosh-darn funny and she started laughing. For the life of her she could not get out her line so I started laughing. I’m doing the best to deliver my lines but we’re both laughing and it was a beautiful moment. Are we supposed to break character? Absolutely not, but it was hysterical anyway. Part of me secretly hopes something like that happens during the run because those moments are priceless.

 

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