C.K. Allen has starred in many productions at WorkShop Theater, adding his special vitality and amazing and diverse qualities to every role. Audiences remember him from Laura Hirshberg’s FISH FOOD and Gary Giovannetti’s PALATE CLEANSER and TARRAGONA Michael Lazan’s SAVE THE VEAL, Rich Orloff’s COUPLES (“Notable performance” -NY Times), Tony Sportiello’s LOL, Levy Lee Simon’s THE BOW WOW CLUB. Recent NYC theater includes onstage work with Retro Productions, Fringe 2015, Fresh Fruit Festival 2015; Algonquin and national and regional TV and radio commercials. Now reprising his role of Jeff, CK tells us what’s it like to do COMPOSURE.
WS: When did you first get involved with COMPOSURE?
CK: When I read the casting notice for the 3-day concert reading in August 2014 I kind of begged Fritz and Scott to see me for the roles of Fletcher, Jeff or Tommy. Scott wrote back saying he thought Jeff would be the better role for me and after the audition I hounded them a bit more until they relented and cast me!
WS: Slight spoiler alert, but can you talk about your character, Jeff Landry’s, body in the play?
CK: Well, I haven’t met with our costume designer yet but as Scott wrote it when we first see Jeff he’s supposed to be “a bit out of shape”. Then the next time it’s about a year later and he’s “in much better shape now that he’s on the market.’
WS: How does COMPOSURE on the Main Stage feel as compared to the production in the JEWEL BOX?
CK: We’re still working that out. We need all new staging, of course, since the JB is smaller and we had audience on 2 sides there. Fritz is working super hard to make it work on the MS and he has great ideas. Susan Izatt has played my wife Amanda in both the previous incarnations in the JB so it’s nice that we have that familiarity but I worked with two other actors as Fletcher before and now that Rob McIntosh is playing him it’s an entirely different experience. Plus there are rewrites so in many ways it feels almost like a brand new play.
WS: What is the most challenging aspect to playing Jeff?
CK: Jeff is an associate dean at this university so he’s a LOT smarter than me.
WS: What would you like audiences to take away from this production?
CK: I’d like people to see a love story unlike any they’ve seen before.