It has been a fine run, indeed. Made all the finer by Bobby Guenther’s performance as Bill Sikes.
PP: How has your experience playing a character much older than yourself been? What artistic choices have you made to reflect that?
Bobby: Even though it wouldn’t seem like it, It’s surprisingly not my first time experiencing this. The theatre I grew up in, back in Nashville, was a youth community theatre. Everyone ages out at 18, or whenever they graduate high school. Due to this, I played many characters older than myself throughout the years. I even recently had the opportunity to play a character older than myself this past spring. It was in Western Carolina University’s production of Spring Awakening. I covered several of the adult male tracks, and I found that as long as I could find something in my own life to relate to the scene, I could somewhat play the age I was supposed to be. For Oliver!, I personally feel that Bill Sikes would be late-twenties, early- thirties. While older still, it doesn’t seem like too far of an age gap to me. I mainly just play myself, and try to evoke a sense of maturity and age. Having people that play off of that sense of power in the cast really helps me get into it. Overall, its just taking control of the mean streak of the character.
PP: How has it been dealing with the dialects in the show? Did someone teach you?
Bobby: The dialects in the show were something I was not too worried about coming into the rehearsal process. I’ve been fortunate enough to have taken a dialects class at my school, and one fo the accents we covered was cockney. I brushed up on it a little bit, remembered what changed in terms of vowels and consonants, and just kinda went for it. I don’t think it’s great, but I thought I was at least able to pass it off. I thank Claire Eye (and Michael Caine) for helping me with this.
PP: How has your first Mainstage experience been so far? What has been your favorite part?
Bobby: I’ve really enjoyed my first Mainstage production! It’s been an overall very pleasing experience, and I’ve loved working with this particular cast and crew. I’ve felt very supported in what I’m doing, and like everyone did there best to put out the best product possible. My favorite part has probably been all the physical acting in the show. It sound’s horrible, but hearing the reaction from the audience for the stage combat sequences makes me happy. As bad as my character is, it lets me know that I’m going my job when everyone in the audience hates me.
Last chance is to see this dynamic performance!
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