Renowned WorkShop Company Artist, CK Allen, costars in both Fish Food by Laura Hirschberg and Gary Gioavannetti’s Palette Cleanser. Let’s find out what that’s like:
What was it like to do the two different roles?
Doing multiple roles is always a fun challenge. (I’m not the only one doing more than one character in this show – Joe, Susan and Robert also play 2 characters but Tom and Lauren each have three and we all do set changes and/or help each other with quick changes backstage.) I think I did 10 or 12 characters in LOL by Tony Sportiello a number of years ago but the cast was onstage almost the entire time and we just changed voices and accents and added speech impediments. It’s been almost 20 years since I’ve done a play where I had to switch characters *and* costumes in a matter of seconds and I couldn’t do it this time without help from Bob and Joe backstage. The acting challenge this time is going from the suicidal and utterly confused Man in “Fish Food” immediately to the slick and confident Brad in “Palate Cleanser”. It takes a lot for me to prepare for the role in “Fish…”, it actually feels really good to shake him off and jump into Brad’s skin for “Palate…” Working with Lauren and Bob respectively only adds to the fun.
Did you relate more to one than the other? If so, in what way?
I do relate to one character more than the other, but I’m going to keep which one and the reasons for it to myself for now!
When you auditioned for the festival were you interested in both of these roles or did you think this would happen?
I was one of the actors fortunate enough to be asked by Thomas to do informal readings of the plays they were considering for this festival. There were some really wonderful plays by seasoned and first-time WorkShop writers that deserve to be seen (maybe in A La Carte: The Second Course?) and I had my sites on a few roles from that. When the selections were announced I auditioned for these two and “The Incredible Egg”. It was great to audition with so many WS members I hadn’t worked with before and I would have been happy with any role but I had no idea if I would be right for what Leslie envisioned for each play. As much as I enjoyed “…Egg” I think Leslie made a great choice going with Rob. I was thinking that if she wanted me for “Palate…” it would have been as Jesus but when she asked me to play Brad opposite Bob Manus I knew I would be in for one helluva ride! Then a couple of days later she asked if I would be interested in “Fish..” with Lauren. I was totally surprised by that because when I auditioned with Lauren the opening moment was a little different and I could NOT stop laughing at her – it was like The Carol Burnett Show, she was Tim Conway and I was Harvey Korman – and I was sure I had blown it. Fortunately they saw something else in us and I’m glad they did!