KATIE: Robert, would you mind telling me a little about yourself?
ROBERT: I am a Jewish actor born and raised in New York City and spent most of my adult life living in New York and Southern California. I moved to the Twin Cities almost five years ago. I've performed in The Lion King and Social Security on Broadway, and locally, I've been in at least a dozen productions at Guthrie Theater.
KATIE: Thank you. I'm curious, has working on Via Dolorosa deepened your personal faith or enriched your Jewish experience?
ROBERT: Here in the Midwest I feel my otherness--meeting Barbara Brooks and working with the Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company on Via Dolorosa and We Are the Levinsons has greatly enhanced my sense of self as an artist and as a man of faith. In this theater, I get to commune with an audience and a group of artists that are interested in life affirming plays about the human experience and the Jewish experience. I greatly look forward to the dialogue that is sparked by Via Dolorosa.
KATIE: Me too! I am especially blown away by the narrative. There is so much rich content-- and very strong storytelling. How would you describe Via?
ROBERT: Via Dolorosa is written by David Hare, of course. He, himself, was the solo actor in the original iterations of this fine play. A poet and an intellectual, he touches on themes of politics and faith set against the backdrop of the Israeli-Palestinian condition.
KATIE: I like that. Were there any particular elements of the play that you found challenging to work on?
ROBERT: Taking on this role for the MJTC production, I have been forced to question what I ever thought about the subject, whatever allegiances I may have for one side or the other, and have found a greater understanding and compassion for the lives of the Israeli and the Palestinian people who are putting themselves on the line everyday to protect their citizens and find a peaceable continuity to their own historical stories.
KATIE: Wow. I look forward to seeing all the work you've put into the show. Oh! And I almost forgot--how's working with director Raye Birk?
ROBERT: I love working with Mr. Raye Birk. He is in every sense “a man of the theater”. A consummate actor himself, I feel very fortunate to have him help me shape this performance, [and] represent the great themes of the play in an honest and focused manner.
KATIE: Thank you, Robert. I'm so excited to see what the two of you created with this incredible script!
Via Dolorosa runs August 19th-27th. All are welcome to join in on the dialogue for our post-show Doorways Programs following the August 20th 1:00pm performance and August 24th 7:30 performance.