Peter Matthew Connolly is yet another actor on the rise! Peter's theatrical credits include the 50th Anniversary of Shelagh Delaney's "A Taste of Honey" at the Cherry Lane Theatre in NYC, "The Miracle Worker" (Bay Street Theatre), "Cabaret" (Center Stage Southhampton), and "Bedroom Farce" (Hampton Theatre Company).
Currenly, Peter can be seen in Trinity Rep's annual holiday production of "A Christmas Carol" as "Fred" ("Scrooge's" nephew) and "Young Scrooge" through December 30! Trinity Rep is located at 201 Washington Street, Providence, RI 02903. Click here for tickets!
1. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? I was inspired by theatre and film at a very early age. When I was in grade school, we took a class trip to see, "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer." I remember the lights coming down at the start of the show, and having that feeling that something really wonderful and creative was about to happen. It was so exciting to watch these characters unfold. I wanted to be a part of the storytelling! We also had a club in high school called "The New Yorker Club," where we took bi-monthly trips to New York City. On our first excursion, we saw "Les Miserables," and I was just in awe of the production, and the excitement and energy of the city. It definitely felt like home. Lastly, I remember being very young and watching, "The Color Purple" on television. I think we must have had one of those free weeks of a premium movie channel, and I watched it after school. I must have been six or seven, and I just remember thinking that it was the most wonderful thing I had ever seen. I didn't want the story to end!
2. If you could perform alongside anyone or multiple people, who would you choose? There are so many people I admire and would love the chance to work with! It would most likely involve Patricia Clarkson and Ed Harris.
3. What attracted you to "A Christmas Carol" and what do you hope audiences come away with after seeing the show? Growing up, my father always had Christmas tunes playing during the holiday season. Last year I downloaded every holiday tune I loved in my youth. Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, Ann Murray, John Denver...the list goes on! When I auditioned for Trinity's annual "A Christmas Carol," I knew that it would be a great opportunity to really enjoy the holiday season with a wonderful community. Trinity's loyal patrons look forward to the show all year long, and seeing them smiling and singing along with us makes me happy to know that we've been a part of their holiday cheer.
4. What has been the best part so far about performing with Trinity Rep? Trinity has such a beautiful theatre to call their home, and their repertory company have been really wonderful to me. I've been working alongside their company members, and four of their third year MFA students. It's inspiring to work with such great talent.
5. What is your favorite part of the rehearsal/preview period in a show? It's so much fun when the puzzle pieces start to connect, and the show really begins to take form. In previews, the best part is seeing how the audience reacts, and what is working best for them.
6. Where is your favorite place to rehearse/practice on your own? I enjoy looking over my scripts/plays first thing in the morning, and just before going to sleep, so I guess my bed!
7. What have you learned about yourself from being an actor? Being an actor, you're able to expose yourself and take risks, but it takes huge amounts of courage. I'm still in the process of allowing myself to take more of those risks. I'm not as brave as I sometimes as I think I am.
8. I previously saw in "A Taste of Honey" at the Cherry Lane Theatre in NYC. What was it like to perform in the 50th anniversary of that show? It was a huge life-learning experience. I had formed a theatre company with my dear friend Maryam L'ange, called Lion's View, and it was our first production. We were both huge fans of Morrissey and The Smiths, and Shelagh Delaney was a huge influence on them. It was a great honor to get the rights to put that play up, and to perform it at The Cherry Lane Theatre was mind-blowing. Shelagh recently passed away, and I hope her legacy lives on. She was a real trailblazer.
9. What's the best advice you've ever received? My teacher and mentor, Alexandra Neil, has always kept me in check when something isn't useful or serving me as an artist. She has always reminded me how important it is to take care of ourselves, and to constantly keep learning and expanding.
10. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? My mother. I lost her when I was 2, and she visits with me sometimes when I dream. They're always the most vivid.
11. Favorite way to spend your day off? Favorite way to stay in shape? Favorite way to spend my day off would be to spend it with friends and family. Favorite way to stay in shape is yoga and swimming.
12. Boxers or Briefs? Boxer Briefs.
13. Favorite website? Alicia Silverstone's, "The Kind Life."
14. Superman or Wonder Woman? I can't even decide! How could I? To have super-human strength and the ability to fly, or bullet proof cuffs and an invisible jet!? I'd have to flip a coin.