Actor Spotlight: Briar Boggs

From sinner to saint, to sinner:  Briar Boggs, last season’s notorious Clyde Barrow, plays both John the Baptist and Judas in this season’s Godspell.
the-headshot briar

PP: You technically play two roles in the show. How do you differentiate between the two? Do you view them as one character?

Briar: You know… When I first looked at the script, I wasn’t quite sure if I was going make the two characters different from one another or not.  In comparison to Judas, I only get to play John The Baptist for such a short portion of the show.  So at first, I didn’t really see why there needed to be a huge contrast between the two.  But then, as I sat down and thought about how this musical is really about the teachings of Jesus Christ from start to finish, I knew that John The Baptist had to be his own unique character and that his relationship with Jesus needed to be different of that of Judas and Jesus’s.
So when we witness this “passing of the torch” moment between one prophet to the next at the beginning of the show, John The Baptist will be a wiser, more mature “authority figure.”  Then as the show goes on and I swap characters, we will see more of a fun, playful, charismatic “right hand man” type in Judas.

PP: How do you approach playing someone as complicated as Judas, especially in such an emotional piece such as this?

Briar: It really hasn’t been easy at all… I can tell you that! I mean, in history, Judas has this terrible reputation for what did to Jesus.  We all know this because its one of the most famous stories ever told.  So I think the trap is to play him like he’s this sinister, hidden agenda type of guy but in all reality, he wasn’t like that at all.  He loved Jesus and he loved God but because he’s human, he made a HUGE mistake.  A mistake, which, he regretted immediately.
So really, the approach was just about humanizing him and once I realized that, I didn’t see him as being “complicated” at all.  He was just like all of us, the only difference is that he made a mistake that he couldn’t return from and I think there is a lesson to be learned from that.

PP: This is a very high-energy show.  What do you do to keep yourself energized and in peak condition?

Briar: I would say that for me, it’s all about staying hydrated, getting a good amount of sleep, choosing healthier food options, and going to the gym as much as possible.  I mean, it’s true–this show requires a lot of energy and it isn’t for the faint of heart.  I truly don’t believe that I would be able to do this show all the time if I didn’t give my body everything that it needs to function at a high-rate.  I know, for sure,  that I would get exhausted quickly and my performance would suffer because of it.  So, I try to do my best everyday to condition my body to build up as much endurance and stamina as possible; that way, when the performances come around, I will have enough energy to do the show and feel great while doing it!
The good news is, you don’t have to hit the weights to come see the show… though, if you want to avoid waits, purchase your tickets in advance.

To purchase tickets, click HERE or call (828) 682-4285

GODSPELL july 28 through august 11

Saturday, July 28 at 7:30pm (with complimentary Opening Night Reception)
Sunday, July 29 at 3pm (with post-show cast Q&A)
    Friday, August 3 at 7:30pm
    Saturday, August 4 at 7:30pm
    Sunday, August 5 at 3pm (with post-show cast Q&A)
Friday, August 10 at 7:30pm
Saturday, August 11 at 7:30pm

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Parkway Playhouse, located in the Appalachian town of Burnsville, NC, is a haven of theatre talent. While people come to the mountains to get away, Parkway Playhouse is a natural gathering place to connect. Likewise, we are an extension of traditional mountain talents: singing, dancing, and, foremost, storytelling. By giving rise to energetic new voices and through a wide variety of plays and musicals, we invite our audience into experiences that are thought-provoking, adventurous, and entertaining. Together we reimagine the world in every live performance, creating dynamic conversations that last far beyond the curtain call. This blog is will feature stories, helpful information, insight and features about the performances.

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