I first met Antonio Edwards Suarez in 1999 while he was a student at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, MA and I was working there in House Management/the Box Office. It's very exciting to now have the opportunity to interview Antonio for "Call Me Adam."
Antonio Edwards Suarez is an actor who continues his rise up! On Broadway, Antonio understudied John Leguizamo in American Buffalo while Off-Broadway he has delighted audiences in Rome (Lincoln Center), Silencing (Tada), This One Girls Story (NYMF-Award for Best Ensemble), The Hamlet Project (Mac Wellman Theater), The Trial (Phoenix Theater Co.), Points of Departure (Intar/Kirk Theater), Richard III (Sergeant Theater), Tresspass (Producers Club), Fuente (Cherry Lane Alternative), and Waiting for Godot (Chashama).
Now Antonio is starring in FOODACTS, conceived and directed by Barbara Bosch. FOODACTS is a culinary stage adventure which explores our primal connections to food and its power to unite. Through an entertaining encounter with established novels, colorful poetry, historic essays, personal letters and other literary works by Langston Hughes, Proust, Homer, and Dickens, among others, FOODACTS serves up the joys of food and eating. Playing at Theatre Row's The Lion Theatre in New York City (410 West 42nd Street, between 9th & 10th Avenue), FOODACTS runs until February 24. Click here for tickets and follow the show on Facebook!
1. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? As a teenager I had a good friend named Curtis McClarin, who was studying acting at LaGuardia High School and who today is a well-established theater actor. Seeing him in shows and hanging out with him and his friends helped me catch the acting bug. Being able to explore many aspects of my personality on stage has proven to be a nice 'release' for me.
2. Who haven't you worked with that you would like to? I would like to work with George C. Wolfe. I saw many shows he directed at The Public Theater while he was Artistic Director. He is smart, brave, and doesn't pull any punches. I hope, if he does something again in NY, I have an opportunity to audition.
3. What attracted you to FOOD ACTS? The director, Barbara Bosch. I have done two other shows with Barbara and just like working with her. She gives the actor room to explore and debate.
4. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing the show? I hope the audiences leave the show not only examining their own relationship to food but how other people in the world are not as lucky as we are. We have a lot in this country and what more can we do, individually and as a community, town, city, state and or country, to help those who don't have enough food.
5. What do you identify most with about your character? Well....I play several different characters. But the one I identify with the most is the "Swiss Maid." She only has a few lines in the play but she is quiet, shy and soft spoken. I can relate to that.
6. Since this show is about how humans relate to food. What is your relationship with food like? I eat everything. Put it in front of me I will eat it. I am sure it will catch up to me sometime soon.
7. What is your favorite part of the rehearsal/preview period in a show? Where is your favorite place to rehearse on your own? My favorite part of rehearsal is the first read. I really like that freshness of hearing the other actors, for the first time, start to explore their roles. I like to rehearse at Simple Studios on west 29th Street. I have been going there for a couple of years now to rehearse by myself. It has a great staff, and their spaces are wonderful to rehearse in.
8. We met while you were a student at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, MA. How do you feel the American Repertory Theater prepared you for the life of a performer? ART prepared me to not only take charge of my craft but my career. Besides the technical training I received, Robert Brustien, founder of ART (and Artistic Director at the time), really challenged all of us to get out there and "Do IT!" Grad school really helped with my confidence not only as a performer but also as a person.
9. What have you learned about yourself from being a performer? As a performer I have learned that my alone time is precious. Whether it’s to explore a script or just take care of my body and spirit, my alone time is something I look forward to. I put so much focus, attention and energy into a role/show that the alone time helps me step back from it and do something else that will add to it. Go to the gym, read a book, see a movie or play or anything I can do by myself to recharge my batteries.
10. What's the best advice you've ever received? The best advice I ever got was to "Never stop exploring!" Whether on or off stage. That advice keeps pushing me to better myself with family, friends and the business of acting.
11. Favorite way to spend your day off? Playing with my kids.
12. Favorite way to stay in shape? African dance and Lucid Body.
13. Boxers or Briefs? Depends on the weather-what my wife feels. I go back and forth.
14. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? I wish I could control the weather. I would keep it 70-75 degrees with a slight breeze and low humidity all year round. I would make it rain from 3 am to 5 am when necessary.
MORE ON ANTONIO:
In addition to the above, Antonio has been seen in regional productions of The Night is a Child (Milwaukee Rep), Havana is Waiting (Cincinnati Playhouse), Spinning into Butter (St. Louis Repertory Theater), A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Taming of the Shrew, The Tempest, and Julius Caesar (Commonwealth Shakespeare Co.); The King Stag, Idiots Karamazov, A Question of Mercy (American Repertory Theater). He has shined on such hit television show as The Good Wife, Precinct 22, As the World Turns, Law and Order, One Life to Live, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and Flight of the Conchords. Antonio was in the indie film The Tested and has directed stage productions of Jesus Hopped the A Train, A View From the Bridge (Hunter College-Loewe Theater), and Delores (Gene Frankel – Studio space). He holds a BFA from Marymount Manhattan College and a MFA from ART/MXAT at Harvard University.