Friday, May 17, 2013

Meet a Robber: Holly Robison on Charles

We'll be sharing perspectives from our cast of "The Robbers" periodically throughout the run. Here's Holly Robison (pictured left) on tortured aristocrat turned anarchist, Charles.

What were your initial impressions when you first read The Robbers?  
Wow. That's long.'  In fairness, I first saw the initial uncut version.  But I also thought that it had potential for a lot of gritty, visceral fun.  

What's your biggest challenge been working on The Robbers?  How have you dealt with it? 
Charles is not a low-key person. He operates at an incredible pitch of expression, intensity, and emotion without letting up, to an extent that I don't think I've encountered in a play yet. My natural starting point is very internalized; I have a tendency and affinity toward nuance and subtlety in characters and story. I had to push (and let myself be pulled) into a bigger performance with Charles.  Ultimately, external factors were an enormous help - the amazing, explosive performances of my castmates helped light my own fire.  Also, with this kind of show - which is a world so very far from our own - the moment we finally have the costumes, sets, and technical elements is also key.

What's your favorite classical play?  
You can't make me pick only one.  Much Ado About Nothing, Hamlet.  Or Uncle Vanya (hey, it's a classic, if not classical)

If you could play any male role in theatre, what would it be and why? 
John Proctor inThe Crucible.  I've been strongly drawn to this play for ages.  I love the thought of this man who is deeply flawed, who makes hugely consequential mistakes and judgments, but still with the courage to find his own definition of self, his own sense of goodness, decency, and morality aside from society.

What do you think motivates your character, Charles? 
A desire to fix the world coupled with the conviction that he alone understands just how that world should work.  Emotionally, he's an adolescent: he means well, he loves people in his life and cares about them, but that is all constrained by his own vision and narcissism.  Charles really personifies the notion that the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Other than robbing (or ruling, etc), what kind of job do you think your character, Charles, would be good at?
Nomad bartender/failed novelist. He'd be like a pathetic version of Hemingway - roam the world drinking and looking for wars to fight.

What do you think your character, Charles, does to relax when not directly involved in the events of the story? 
See above regarding Hemingway: Drinks, reads, fights, hunts, attempts at useless existential discussion with barflies.  

Tickets and other details for The Robbers at the link below:

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