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