Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Thinking Caps Q&A: Drew Wancket

We sat down recently with Drew Wancket, who plays Charles Cusick in Strangeloop's current production, Thinking Caps, and chatted about the future of technology, his alter ego and the challenges of acting with actors who are not physically in the same room.

Q: What do you like about your character and Thinking Caps?
A:I love that Charles is, more than anything, so grounded. In a seemingly inevitable future where technology is slowly replacing every aspect of human interaction, Charles is an anachronism. He seems to exist in a world completely different than the rest of the characters. I love how he is so disinterested in keeping up with the times. He only cares about his family, and their happiness. Thinking Caps are the future, maybe not 20 years from now, but they seem inevitable. They frankly kind of terrify me. For all the reasons the play exhibits. I am much like Charles, I love old things, and losing such simple objects as books is not something that appeals to me.

Q: What have been your biggest challenges?
A: My biggest challenge has been figuring out how to relate to this world. Much of the script involves interacting with this headnet space, which is something I have no experience with.  It kind of like how I imagine acting with a green screen is like. The give and take is difficult without the other present.

Q: What are you working on after Thinking Caps?
A:  I am moving to New York City the day after this show closes. I am looking forward to finding new experiences in this city.

Q: Before you leave for NYC, tell us about your Chicago experience.Where do you live and what do you like about that neighborhood?
A: I live in Rogers Park, which I believe is one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the country. Even block to block can have a different feel to it. It feels much more family oriented than other neighborhoods I have lived in. In addition, it is pretty convenient, but it is far enough away from the city center to still be affordable.

Q: What are you favorite highlights on your resume?
A: I am immensely proud of my improv teaching, both at Columbia College and Independence. I also produce and host a variety comedy show every Sunday Night at the Underground Lounge. 

Q: Do you have any interesting hobbies when you're not acting?
A: I work on my blog, the taoofsteven, and have interdisciplinary projects I work on, involving my alter ego, Steven. I also write theater reviews for

Q: You have a masters degree in Interdisciplinary Arts. What does a program like that look like?
A: It is a one year MA program. It is focused on giving artists from various disciplines a chance to increase their artistic knowledge. For me, is was incredibly rejuvenating. I have always considered myself more than an actor, and now I am involved is so many different projects, ranging from writing to art installations and performance art.
See Drew in Thinking Caps through May 31 at The Charnel House, 3421 W Fullerton Ave. in Chicago. The show is at 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. on Sundays. Tickets are $18 for general admission and available at the door or in advance through Brown Paper Tickets. Discounts are available for students and seniors.

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