Meet Jens Rasmussen from The Twentieth-Century Way

We are very excited to welcome a familiar face to Know Theatre’s stage for The Twentieth-Century Way! Jens Rasmussen has been seen on our stage previously in both
Skin Tight (2010) and Gruesome Playground Injuries (2011).
Will you tell us a little bit about your background? I grew up in rural Wisconsin – lots of time outdoors, hunting and ice fishing.

Can you tell us about the moment you knew you wanted to be an actor? Probably getting cast in a semi-professional production as Puck in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream right out of high-school is what ultimately did me in.

How do you prepare for a role? Mostly I read the play a lot. For a show like this, I look at historical source materials to fill out the world that wasn’t able to be included in the play. I’ll also dig into dialect research – which was critical in this show. But every show is a little different and my process morphs depending on the play’s parameters.
Tell us about your favorite role (besides your role in The Twentieth-Century Way of course). Easy – Tom in Skin Tight right here at the Know. It was one of those magical experiences – I got to work with one of my favorite directors (Drew Fracher) who put me opposite the amazing Beth Harris. That one was hard to close.
Tell us just a little bit about your character in The Twentieth-Century Way. I don’t even know where to begin. Like the historical character he’s based on, Warren is an enigma – a charmer yet elusive, cruel yet vulnerable. I find him terribly exciting and think audiences will too.
What has been your strangest experience as an actor? Having a naked man draw on my penis with a felt marker has got to be near the top of the list…
Look to your right, the first thing you see is your only weapon, how do you use it to stave off the impending zombie apocalypse?  This pepper shaker is surprisingly effective against zombies. While it will not de-animate them, it is a little known fact that zombies have both slow blink reflexes and surprisingly sensitive eyes (as demonstrated in I am Legend). But this sensitivity also extends to irritants such as pepper – a dash of finely ground pepper in their face is so maddening to them, they will actually scratch their eyeballs out of their heads trying to stop the burning – giving me plenty of time to escape.
The inquiring masses want to know, why should they come see The Twentieth-Century Way? Give them the hard sell! This is easily one of the smartest plays I have ever worked on. It’s compelling history, fascinating narrative, and some of the best theatrical gymnastics you’ll ever see.
Thanks Jens!

Meet Michael McKeogh from The Twentieth-Century Way

We are very excited to welcome a new face to Know Theatre’s stage for The Twentieth-Century Way! Michael McKeogh comes to Cincinnati from Chicago, Illinois where he has graced many area stages. We asked Michael a few questions. Enjoy!

michaelweb

Will you tell us a little bit about your background? From Detroit, went to undergrad with The Know Theatre’s Andrew Hungerford. Played Picasso to his Einstein in Picasso at the Lapin Agile. The irony is that I PLAYED an artist but Andrew actually IS a genius.

Can you tell us about the moment you knew you wanted to be an actor? I never had that “moment.”just got involved in high school on a whim and started falling in love with telling stories.

How do you prepare for a role? That’s my dirty little secret but I’ll give you a hint: it’s more about questions, less about answers.

Tell us about your favorite role (besides your role in The Twentieth-Century Way of course). My most recent role was Lt. Col. Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain of the 20th Maine of the American civil war. With a role like that there comes a larger sense of responsibility. You are playing a version of a person who really lived so you want to honor him but also bring yourself to the part. It was a wonderful gift.

Tell us just a little bit about your character in The Twentieth-Century Way. Mr. Brown is a complicated dude. Desperate and eager, but at the same time confident and grounded. He also struggles to self actualize, which is what really draws me to him.

What has been your strangest experience as an actor? Definitely when I carried a live lamb across the stage. Nude. Definitely the strangest. Especially for my in-laws.

If you were to be declared the ruler of your own country what would you name it and why? That sounds terrifying. Much harder than being an actor. I’ll pass.

The inquiring masses want to know, why should they come see The Twentieth-Century Way? Give them the hard sell! It’s like no other show that they will see this year. 2 actors 19 roles 1 indelible ink pen.

Thanks Michael!

Click here for more information about The Twentieth-Century Way! 

Meet the Director: Kimberly Faith Hickman directs The Twentieth-Century Way

We are very excited to welcome a new guest director to Cincinnati forThe Twentieth-Century Way! Kimberly comes to us from New York City where she has worked with both Broadway and Off-Broadway productions, including being the assistant director for The Assembled Parties, The Scottsboro Boys, and Clybourne Park!

Could you please tell us a little about your background?  I’m originally from Phenix City, AL – which was also known as “Sin City, USA” in the 40’s and 50’s due to it being a haven for gambling, organized crime and prostitution.

What’s you biggest challenge as a director on any given day?  Today – it’s answering the question below about 100 duck sized horses or 1 horse sized duck.  But generally, as a director I feel that the most important part of my job is to tell the story of a play by following the playwright’s intent.  In doing that, I collaborate with actors, designers, producers, stage managers, technicians, etc. and drive the group towards a very specific goal and purpose – which is putting the playwright’s intention onstage.

What has been your most rewarding experience in theatre (besides directing Twentieth-Century Way at Know Theatre of course)?  I have been incredibly lucky and have had many rewarding experiences.  It’s impossible to pick one.  But several of my favorite moments have been sitting in a rehearsal room or production meeting and listening to some of my favorite playwrights talk about their play:  Bruce Norris, Richard Greenberg, Donald Margulies.   I really love writers, so for me, those moments were golden.

Can you describe Twentieth-Century Way in one sentence?  The Twentieth-Century Way is one of the most surprising plays I have ever directed – with its muscular theatricality and unpredictable plot twists, the play will take audiences on a ride that they have never experienced before in live theatre.

If you could give one piece advice to a large group of people, what would it be?  As cliche as it may sound – life really is way too short.  Surround yourself with people whom you enjoy being with.

What is your most bizarre skill?  I don’t think I have any bizarre skills, but most people are surprised when they learn that… 1) I play the drums and 2) I have a deep affinity for rap and hip hop music

Would you rather fight 100 duck sized horses or 1 horse sized duck? Why?  Definitely 1 horse sized duck.  I could never fight little horses.  They would be way too cute.    

Now is your chance, give us a pitch: in your words, why should people come see Twentieth-Century Way?  The Twentieth Century Way is one of the most fast paced, daring, highly theatrical, funny and evocative explorations of history that I have ever read.  As an audience member, I guarantee that it is unlike anything you have ever seen – and who wants to miss out on that?!   Buy your tickets soon!  Really – stop reading and buy your tickets now!

Meet Jason Podplesky

What role are you playing in the show?
Anton [They keep forgetting about Abe]

How long have you been acting?
All my life. My mother is also an actress so I grew up in a theatre.

Have you been in a show at Know Theatre before?
No, this is my first.

Who was the first politician you voted for?
Bill Clinton

What was the first play you ever saw?
Jesus Christ Superstar

If train A leaves Boston travelling south at 110mph against a prevailing wind with gusts upwards of 75mph and train B leaves Birmingham travelling northeast at 150mph with a steady breeze at its back, which train is more FABU-LOUS!?
I always believe in taking the A train.

Was Abraham Lincoln gay?
You betcha!

What is your favorite color (other than Red, Green, Blue, Yellow, Green, Purple, and Pink)?
Black.

After a long day at work I like to…
go to rehearsal

What is your alcoholic beverage of choice?
Yuengling Beer

Do you enjoy big, gay dancing?
I do indeed.

You’re stuck on a desert island for the rest of your life. There’s plenty of food and water and, heck, maybe even satellite TV – BUT, you can only wear one of the following outfits for the entirety of your stay: A child’s Halloween cowboy costume, a wet-suit, a Santa Claus outfit, or your Birthday suit.
I would need a few clarifications before answering. Does the cowboy costume come with a gun? Would I have to wear the beard with the Santa outfit? Is this a tropical climate, as I chafe in very humid weather.

What’s your favorite kind of pie?
Free.

Corn: On the cob or off?
On. Definitely. Unless its creamed. I love me some cream corn.

What was the name of the play Abraham Lincoln was watching when he was assassinated?
Our American Cousin by Tom Taylor. (Thank you google.)

Have you ever stood in the middle of a field and looked up at the stars?
Yes. I was flat on my back at the time 😉

If you could say one thing to Abraham Lincoln, what would it be?
Beware of actors with guns.

How often do you sneeze?
Fairly regularly. Every day I suspect. I sneeze in 2’s.

2 + 2 = ?
5

Meet Robert Pavlovich

What role are you playing in the show?
I’m playing Tom Hauser and internet news-maven, Walter. [He forgot Abe]

How long have you been acting?
NYE onto 35 years.

Have you been in a show at Know Theatre before?
Yes, Eurydice and Adding Machine: A Musical

Who was the first politician you voted for?
Jimmy Carter.

Who was the first homosexual person you ever met?
My English Lit teacher in high school. He gave me my love of Shakespeare and theatre in general.

What was the first play you ever saw?
When ya’ comin’ back, Red Ryder?

If train A leaves Boston travelling south at 110mph against a prevailing wind with gusts upwards of 75mph and train B leaves Birmingham travelling northeast at 150mph with a steady breeze at its back, which train is more FABU-LOUS!?
The one carrying Abraham Lincoln to Springfield.

Was Abraham Lincoln gay?
It doesn’t matter.

What is your favorite color (other than Red, Green, Blue, Yellow, Green, Purple, and Pink)?
Burnt umber.

After a long day at work I like to…
Wonder where I’ve been.

What is your alcoholic beverage of choice?
Maker’s Mark, one cube of ice, and a glass.

Do you enjoy big, gay dancing?
Yes, but I haven’t mastered dancing like no one is watching – YET!

What’s your favorite kind of pie?
Lemon Meringue

Corn: On the cob or off? 
ON

What was the name of the play Abraham Lincoln was watching when he was assassinated?
Our American Cousin with Laura Keene, one of the first powerful women producers in the U.S.

Have you ever stood in the middle of a field and looked up at the stars?
Yes, but not often enough.

If you could say one thing to Abraham Lincoln, what would it be?
DUCK!

2 + 2 = ? 
HOW RIGID

Finish these song lyrics:  Don’t hide yourself in regret/Just love yourself and you’re set/I’m on the right track, baby…
I WAS BORN THIS WAY!!!!!

Why should people come see Abraham Lincoln’s Big Gay Dance Party?
In this political season, and when it is not, Abraham Lincoln’s Big Gay Dance Party speaks to the fervent wish most of us have – the re-humanizing of political discourse.

Meet Kellen York

As the cast and crew prepare to open Abraham Lincoln’s Big Gay Dance Party in a few weeks, we wanted to take the time to introduce you to the cast members of the production.

What role are you playing in the show?
Jerry. Bailiff. Thomas Jefferson. Abe.
How long have you been acting?
Ten years.

Have you been in a show at Know Theatre before?
I had a line in As White As O, by Stacy Sims. It was “Holy shit,” or something like that.

Who was the first politician you voted for?
Nixon.

Who was the first homosexual person you ever met?
Kinsey scale.

What was the first play you ever saw?
Company.

If train A leaves Boston travelling south at 110mph against a prevailing wind with gusts upwards of 75mph and train B leaves Birmingham travelling northeast at 150mph with a steady breeze at its back, which train is more FABU-LOUS!?
The Boston train. What am I, foreign?

Was Abraham Lincoln gay?
Kinsey scale.

What is your favorite color (other than Red, Green, Blue, Yellow, Green, Purple, and Pink)?
Chartreuse.

After a long day at work I like to…
Answer questionnaires about work.

What is your alcoholic beverage of choice?
Johnny Walker Red double. Neat.

Do you enjoy big, gay dancing?
No.

What’s your favorite kind of pie?
Chicken Tikka Masala. Yeah, seriously.

Corn: On the cob or off?
On to look at, off to eat.

What was the name of the play Abraham Lincoln was watching when he was assassinated?
Our American Cousin. Yes, I googled it. Yes, I’m ashamed.

Have you ever stood in the middle of a field and looked up at the stars?
Yes.

If you could say one thing to Abraham Lincoln, what would it be?
Duck.

How often do you sneeze?
Not as often as I’d like.

Why should people come see Abraham Lincoln’s Big Gay Dance Party?
Because I’m obviously very, very funny and clever. And so is the director and the rest of the cast. And there’s pie.

Meet Torie Wiggins

As the cast and crew prepare to open Abraham Lincoln’s Big Gay Dance Party in a few weeks, we wanted to take the time to introduce you to the cast members of the production.

Torie Wiggins

What role are you playing in the show?
Esmerelda, Regina, and Abe

How long have you been acting?
Since I was 2 years old

Have you been in a show at Know Theatre before?
Nope, this is my first [Torie did perform her one woman show Your Negro Tour Guide at the 2008 Cincinnati Fringe Festival]

Who was the first politician you voted for?
Clinton

Who was the first homosexual person you ever met?
My cousin

What was the first play you ever saw?
Something with talking deer…can’t recall the details

If train A leaves Boston travelling south at 110mph against a prevailing wind with gusts upwards of 75mph and train B leaves Birmingham travelling northeast at 150mph with a steady breeze at its back, which train is more FABU-LOUS!? 
Uhhh…the train to Funky Town?!?!?

Was Abraham Lincoln gay?
Probably

What is your favorite color (other than Red, Green, Blue, Yellow, Green, Purple, and Pink)?
BROWN

After a long day at work I like to…
Drink a 24 oz. glass of wine

What is your alcoholic beverage of choice?
Wine

Do you enjoy big, gay dancing?
Sure

What’s your favorite kind of pie?
Chess Pie

Corn: On the cob or off?
OFF

What was the name of the play Abraham Lincoln was watching when he was assassinated?
Ummm…Much Ado About Nothing?

Have you ever stood in the middle of a field and looked up at the stars?
Yep

If you could say one thing to Abraham Lincoln, what would it be?
Thanks for the freedom homie.

How often do you sneeze?
At least once a week

Why should people come see Abraham Lincoln’s Big Gay Dance Party?
Its fun.