Next up: we'd like to introduce you to someone who's no stranger to our stage. Sean Thompson lends his talents to the role of Greg, Sylvia's new best friend. We really "ruff" the chance to pick his brain and share that privileged information with you!
Why did you audition for Sylvia?
As a certifiable dog lover, this show has always had a special place in my heart, and I was so thrilled to find it on the production schedule. Plus, Lisa said she would beat me up if I didn't audition.
What's something special or new about our production that potential audiences need to know?
The cast includes a newcomer to the Stageworks stage, Dev Whitten, and it's been a thrill acting against someone I've never worked with before. The talent pool on stage and behind it is staggering, and I'm flattered to be part of its ranks. Also, be aware that - as a dog - Sylvia has no filter on her thoughts, and some of the language and situations reflect it, to hilarious effect.
Has this role challenged you or changed your thinking in any way?
It's indeed been a challenge to "seriously" and "realistically" act against someone one pretending to be a dog; fortunately, the incredible skills of Dev (who plays Sylvia), Amanda (who plays the long-suffering wife), and Tim (who plays... well, you just need to watch to see what he plays) has made the challenge within my reach. It's also gratifying to play a character who has so many quirks, foibles, and layers.
Do you have any special pet or animal adoption memories you'd like to share?
My family is currently fostering Sky, a large boxer mix on loan to us from Pure Mutts Animal Sanctuary. Sky is stone-cold deaf, as well as allergic to so many foods that his only meal is home-cooked rice and steamed vegetables, served thrice daily "or else." It was fun watching him obliviously sleep through all the New Year's Eve fireworks blasting outside while every other neighborhood dog freaked.
What's something you and your character have in common?
Greg and I are both dog-loving middle-aged men married to beautiful women and who are striving daily to find relevance and satisfaction in the business world.
Something that makes you very different?
Greg is taller.
Will Stageworks/local audiences recognize you from something else?
This is the closest in quite a while that I can be seen as "me" - usually I'm forced to change my appearance (beardless and short-haired in "12 Angry Men," aged and Austrian in "Freud's Last Session," a flirtatious forefather in "1776," and childishly kingly in "The Three Musketeers"). If audiences come back in March, they can also see me wearing my director's hat for the Stageworks Academy's production of "Much Ado About Nothing."
What's a fun fact about you that might surprise our readers?
I'm a bestselling novelist, an award-winning playwright and screenwriter, and make the world's best Shepherd's Pie. Oh, and I'm two degrees from Kevin Bacon.
What's a fun behind-the-scenes memory from rehearsal so far?
Gosh, truly, there have been so many. Each of my compatriots has given me numerous memories to cherish. But I'd have to cull it down to the times I had to literally bite my cheek to keep from bursting out in laughter with Tim's characterizations, the times I just stood in awe of the elegance of Amanda, and the joys of learning all about Dev and being flabbergasted as I watched her turn a dog into something more human than any of us.
--That's high praise from someone we respect as much as Sean! Get your tickets to see him and the rest of the cast steal the show today!