Tri-State Theater

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Monday, February 06, 2017

Interview with Owen Reynolds: "Glengarry Glen Ross"

   If you missed the opening weekend of Glengarry Glen Ross in Huntington, take heart - you probably couldn’t have landed a ticket anyway - both shows were sold out! (So get those tickets early this week!)

   Continuing our interviews with the cast, let’s hear from the amazingly talented and versatile Owen Reynolds:

Q: Tell us about Glengarry Glen Ross.

Owen: The show is about four salesmen in the ‘80s who are desperately trying to sell land to unwitting buyers by any means necessary, and their jerk of an office manager (that's me). However, there's so much more to it than that. The men are struggling to sell to keep their jobs and for some it isn't going too well. They're all desperate, and it shows what desperate people will do get what they need. It's a theme that holds true today, especially in this part of the country, where desperation is all around us. As Shelley says, “Times are tough. It ain't '65. It just ain’t.” I probably misquoted that line, but you get the idea. 

Q: Why did you want to tackle this show?

Owen: I had never done any Mamet and I knew his shows had a reputation for being tough to perform. The way he writes is tough to get in your head, and tough to make sound natural. Yet, once you get there, it sounds more natural than regular dialogue. I thought that would be a great challenge. Aside from that, the show is critically acclaimed. It won the Pulitzer Prize and a Tony to boot (pretty sure that's correct), and the story is intense. Doing local theatre you get a lot of opportunities to do comedies and musicals but a great drama with a story like this one is hard to come by. 

Q: Tell us about the character you play.

Owen: John Williamson (Kevin Spacey's part in the movie) is the youngest character in the show, and also the Office Manager who got his job through some familial connection. This creates a strained relationship with everyone in the office because he's the guy who gives the salesmen their leads. This gives Williamson a lot of power, causing the other characters to resent him. He just wants to do his job. The other people in the office don't make it easy, but don't think that he's some kind soul. He's a real ass. Of course, this leads to confrontation. You'll have to come see the show to see how it all pans out!

Q: What's your background in theatre?

Owen: I've done community theatre since I was a kid, and ended up getting my undergrad degree in theatre and dance at The College of Wooster. I've done a few professional shows over the years (some out in L.A. and a season with the Ohio Light Opera).

Q: This is an adult show - what's the most challenging thing about it - the language or the subject matter?

Owen: I'd say the language, but not because there's a lot of cussing. That's awesome. Love it. Like I wrote earlier, the way the dialogue is written makes it tough to learn and deliver, but once it's there, it sounds great.

Q: Tell us about the cast and director.

Owen: For a community production, I couldn't be more impressed with the cast or the director. As anyone who's seen one of Mike Murdock's shows can attest, he knows how to put on a great show and he knows how to cast people in the right roles. The cast has blown me away over the course of the rehearsal process. This was especially true after I looked up some clips of other community theatre productions of this show. I watched some of those and my reaction was, “Damn… we're really good.”

Q: Why would you recommend this show?

Owen: The story deals with desperation and that's theme that is true today, maybe ESPECIALLY today. I think we all know people like the characters in this show. People who would do anything to get by. Heck, maybe it's you. Maybe it's me. More than that, the story has moments that make you gasp, moments that will make you laugh (even though sometimes you might not feel good about it), and moments that shock you. For a show that's about four guys trying to sell land, it's a hell of a ride.

Q: Thanks, Owen!

Glengarry Glen Ross will be presented in the Renaissance Theatre Ballrooom at 900 8th Street in Huntington on Feb. 9, 10 and 11 at 8 p.m. Tickets for the Dinner and Show are $30 each (reservations required - call 304-733-2787.  Dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. Show only tickets are $15 each. Also, the Feb. 9 (Thursday) show offers 2 tickets for $20. Visit www.artstristate.org for online tickets.

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