Thursday, March 30, 2017

Caeneus & Poseidon: An Interview With Michael Wayne Rice

Next up in our series of interviews we feature Michael Wayne Rice, who plays Poseidon and shared with us a bit about himself and his acting. Thanks Michael!

Michael Wayne Rice as Poseidon. Photo by Scott Ragle.
Which character do you play?
I play Poseidon.

What are you most looking forward to about playing this character? Is there anything that is particularly challenging about playing this character?
This character is challenging because he is a "god" that abuses his powers, especially in regards to his relationships with women. He can easily be played as a character that is un-relatable and thus totally closed off to audience connection. If an audience cannot connect, on some level to a character, they will write him off. They won't care. And if that happens, that kills the play because Poseidon then losses his power in his role of helping to establish the plight that Caeneus is in.

Have you been involved with Dragon Theatre before? How?
Yes. I acted in a play called "OR" for Dragon Theatre.

What other theatre projects do you have coming up?
I will be going up to Washington State to be in a Shakespeare Festival this summer, 2017.

How do you prepare for a role? Is there anything special you do to get into the mindset of a character you're playing?
Rehearsal, rehearsal, rehearsal. I love being in rehearsal. It gives me an opportunity to play. Play with choices, play with scene partners, and play with relationship. I do a lot of text analysis, looking for clues to characterization. I read about Poseidon. I made a lot of bad choices (but that is part of the process for defining character). I explored the major themes for my character, trying to figure out why he was how he was.

What is your dream role?
My dream role is always the current role I am playing. I have very little power in the casting process. Getting cast is not as simple as giving a good audition. There are many factors that go into casting an actor in which an actor will never be privy. I can have a dream role, or I can make my current role my dream role. A bird in the hand (current role) beats two in the bush (dream role). Consequently I am always playing my dream role. Can you say cake, and eating it too?

Who’s your favorite mythological character? (doesn’t have to be Greek)
Since mythological is not defined here and can be interpreted in many ways, let me first lay down, as a foundation, a definition I found for mythos, before revealing my answer. "Mythos: the underlying system of beliefs, especially those dealing with supernatural forces, characteristic of a particular cultural group." Answer: Jesus.

Anything else you'd like to share with us?
If you watched the show, I thank you for being a patron of the arts. We need you more than ever. Not in a desperate and needy way. More like as allies against a society that is scared to stand up against the ills of society. We artists garner more strength when we have a true connection to audience. And audience members prove warriors for the arts because you have the strength, determination and fortitude to deal with issues that may come up in an artistic presentation. I appreciate you.

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