Monday, March 12, 2012

Cast Interview #9: Brian Byus as "Solyony" in THREE SISTERS

Welcome to our exciting series of interviews, where you can get to know the cast & creative team in our production of Three Sisters -- an adaptation by Brian Friel of Anton Chekhov's classic story.

Three Sisters runs March 9-25, 2012, Wed-Sat at 7:30pm; Sat & Sun at 2pm in New York City.

For tickets, please click here.

For more info about The Seeing Place, click here.

Your Name:
Brian Byus

Role in this Production:

How long have you been acting?
Since I was 13.

How long have you been in NYC?
6 years.

Where are you from originally?
Natchez, Mississippi.

What's been your favorite role, to date?
Val in Orpheus Descending. Tennessee Williams is something I am always willing to work with and this particular production was put up at Muhlenberg College, with great direction and a mighty set design!

If you could play any role in any play right now, what would it be?
Honestly? Solyony! I have been excited about this character since I accepted the role. Villains are typically my favorite parts to play. Nothing is more wonderful and strange than to try to sympathize with the bad guy. All though I don't think Solyony is all that bad of a guy! He makes me laugh.

What's the wackiest experience you've ever had onstage?
I played a Gay Nazi who acted as Pinnochio's pimp in a production called Spring Offensive, written and directed by Jeff Weiss. I have never been a part of so much vulgarity onstage. I don't think I will ever get the chance to try and fit a golf club up a puppet's ass again. It was wacky!

What's your experience with Chekhov?
I was supposed to be helping with stage tech on a production of The Seagull back in 2004 when I was a student at Muhlenberg College. I was just trying to gain volunteer hours to pass Basic Stagecraft: 101. However, once the director found out I could burp on command he agreed to see to it that I get the same volunteer credit just so long as I stepped in as one of the workmen in the production. He used me to belch in the middle of the longest pause in the play. It was also my first experience with method acting.

What's been the most challenging thing about preparing for this role?
Personalizing so much for a character that reveals so little about himself.

What's been the most exciting thing about the rehearsal process?
Well not necessarily the fresh brewed coffee and snacks at every rehearsal, but it helps! But I'd say mostly the use of speaking out in character has been exciting and quite challenging. I just have a wondering mind, so I try to filter saying the things they might send me to jail for.

What parts of yourself are similar to the character?
I always use humor to diffuse stressful situations. I wear cologne every day, perhaps not quite so excessively like my character. And I will study a girl for a long time before I finally make my move.

What excites you about THREE SISTERS?
It touches on something very true about people and their dreams. There are so many who keep putting them off. Perhaps out of fear, depression, or maybe even just a lack of knowledge about how to actualize thier ideas. A lot of these characters are stuck, it's tormenting inertia. It seems like most people wait for their dreams to come true, and very few understand what it really takes.

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