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.