In Crimes of the Heart, the role of Doc Porter, the 30 year old, handsome, southern
accented gentleman was portrayed by Sam Shepard. The famous actor, director, and writer passed last year, but his rich character with kind eyes lives vibrantly in our very own Doc Porter, Austin Heps.
Heps took some time to tell us a little bit about himself.
Welcome to Stageworks! I understand this is your first production with us. How did you find Stageworks?
I saw The Foreigner here when the theatre was still HFAC. Since then, I’ve enjoyed the consistent quality of the shows, and knew I had to try out sometime soon.
How/when did you get into acting/theatre?
First started acting in the spring of my 3rd grade year. Saw the Christmas show the year prior and said “That’s for me. I want to be part of that.” Since then, any time I’ve had a chance to act, I take it.
How were you familiar with Crimes of the Heart? (Were you? Did you know the movie/play?)
I was completely unfamiliar with the show ahead of time. And I certainly won’t be watching the movie until after the play closes.
What is special/unique about playing Doc Porter in Crimes of the Heart? How do you feel about being compared to Sam Shepard?!
I’ve enjoyed playing Doc, even though he’s not on stage that long. He’s a man whose life hasn’t gone the way he planned, but ends up in a where place he’s very content, even if he hasn’t gotten the closure he needs.
As for comparison to Sam, the less said about that the better.
What is the last professional show you saw? Review?
I own a recording of the Globe Theaters 2012 Doctor Faustus that I have watched multiple times, so that counts, I think. It was fantastic, it was creepy, funny, thought-provoking even today, and it’s one of my favorite stories. Paul Hilton as Faustus was phenomenal, oozing with cynicism and self-righteousness, and Arthur Darvill as Mephistopheles was my favorite character, balancing the pleasures of living life freely and the pain of being “tormented with ten thousand hells in being depriv’d of everlasting bliss.” Seriously, get yourself a copy.
Do you have a favorite superhero?
Bigby Wolf, from the Fables comic series.
Do you have a dream role?
Mephistopheles in either Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus or Goethe’s Faust. The character(s) fascinate me to no end.
Come meet Austin at our production of Crimes of the Heart, playing through March 25, 2018. Get your tickets today!