The American Repertory Theater holds a special place in my heart. So when I find an actor who has a connection to that place, I always want to talk more with them. Combine that with playwright Nicky Silver, whose work I adore and presto, I called and Michael Crane answered.
We discuss his starring turn in Nicky Silver's newest play, This Day Forward, an unforgettable play about love and marriage and everything in between, currently running at The Vineyard Theatre through December 18 (108 East 15th Street). We also talk about love, being blindsided, and improving lives by one percent better! Click here for tickets!
1. You are currently starring in the Vineyard Theatre's production of Nicky Silver's This Day Forward. What made you want to audition for this show? I thought the script was funny and sad and surprising and moving. And I felt like it would be a huge challenge.
2. What do you relate to most about your character? What is one characteristic of his you are glad you don't have? I play two characters. "Martin's" inability to let go. And, I'm glad I don't quite have his level of rage. "Noah's" maladjusted familial situation. And, I'm glad that I enjoy the pleasures of nature.
4. What is something that has happened on stage or in rehearsal that made you laugh out loud? With Nicky and many of my castmates around, there's always plenty of tomfoolery. Ah man, I can't think of anything specific. Joe Tippett likes to give young Andrew Burnap, who just got out of acting school, terrible acting advice many nights before the show. That usually gets me.
5. In This Day Forward, "Martin" thinks he has just married the girl of his dreams, but when "Irene" makes a surprising confession in their honeymoon suite, all their well-made plans fall apart. When has there been a time in your life when you've blindsided by a lover? Hahaha. Well, there was that M. Butterfly incident a few years ago. No, just kidding, I don't know...the usual? (sad face)
6. Nearly 50 years later, "Irene's" children wrestle with their past. What is something from your past that you still struggle with? I think a lot of us spend our lives trying to figure out what went wrong in the first few years of our lives to make us the neurotic messes that we are.
7. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? I guess it was film and TV performances I saw as a young kid. Gene Wilder, Robin Williams, Michael J Fox, 80s movies, TV. I know that doesn't sound that cool, but it's the truth. (I grew up in the suburbs and didn't see much theater).
8. As someone who has starred in both film/television and stage acting, what is something you wish you knew before going into it that you know now? They're not exaggerating when they tell you it ain't easy.
9. One thing we have in common is the American Repertory Theater. I worked there from 1998-2001 in the box office and house management. You performed in their show Father Comes Home From the Wars (Parts 1, 2, & 3). ART has allows held a special place in my heart. What did you enjoy about your time there? I was there during the Snowpocalypse of 2014. There were 4 blizzards in 6 weeks, 9 feet of snow fell. And yet, the audiences still came out! Those Bostonians don't let anything get between them and theater.
10. On "Call Me Adam" I have a section called One Percent Better, where through my own fitness commitment, I try to encourage people to improve their own life by one percent every day. What is something in your life that you want to improve by one percent better every day? Gratitude. (And procrastinating less).
More on Michael:
New York Theater: GLORIA (Vineyard), THE BODY OF AN AMERICAN (Cherry Lane/Hartford Stage), BLOODY BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON, KING LEAR and RICHARD III (Public Theater), TAKING CARE OF BABY (MTC), DORIS TO DARLENE (Playwrights Horizons), THE MAG-7 (Naked Angels), THE YOUNG LEFT (Cherry Lane), THE TENANT (Woodshed Collective), WEST MOON STREET (Prospect Theater Company), BONE PORTRAITS (Stillpoint Prods), THE LEOPARD AND THE FOX (TBG), BRACK’S LAST BACHELOR PARTY (59E59), MIDDLEMEN (Human Animals). Regional Theater: FATHER COMES HOME FROM THE WARS (A.R.T.), HAMLET (Pioneer Theatre), HELL MEETS HENRY HALFWAY (Pig Iron Theatre Co.), Long Wharf, Williamstown, Berkshire Theatre Festival, Weston Playhouse. TV/Film: People of Earth, Barry, Damages, White Collar, Winter’s Tale, Forever, Law & Order, Kings. MFA: NYU.