Thursday, February 25, 2010

On the Spot with MATT RIPPY

Matt Rippy, one of three actors in THE COMPLETE WORKS OF WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE (abridged) [revised] spent some time answering questions from us at the New Vic. Read on to find out where he grew up, his favorite hobbies and which Shakespearean heroine he wants for his lady love! (photo courtesy of Reduced Shakespeare)

New Victory: Where did you grow up?
Matt Rippy: I haven’t actually finished growing up yet, but if you’re curious, I spent my early formative years in Houston, Texas, and now I’m growing up in London, England.

NV: Most memorable theatrical experience as a spectator?
MR: Ah there are SO MANY, it’s impossible to choose just one! High on the list would be Slava’s Snowshow, by the Russian performance-artist/clown Vyacheslav Ivanovich “Slava” Polunin. Also on my list is Mark Rylance in Richard III at the Globe, De La Guarda from Argentina, and everything by the German theatre company Familie Floez.

NV: Most memorable theatrical experience as a performer?
MR: Another tough question! Ok, if I had to pick just one – it would have to be Jan. 23rd 2010. We were performing The Complete Works in Dallas – my first performance of any play in Texas since 1993, and all my family showed up. Two dozen family/friends watched us rock the house that night – we had a record breaking 4 standing ovations (and not just from my family!). T’was a night I’ll never forget.

NV: Favorite local tradition?
MR: Welly-Wanging in Derbyshire, England. Competitors must hurl a Wellington boot (galoshes to us Americans) as far as possible. Much harder than it sounds.

NV: Favorite local food?
MR: Dim sum in Hong Kong.

NV: When you travel, what do you miss most about home?
MR: People. Friends.

NV: Favorite local haunt?
MR: 6th Street in Austin, TX. Though I guess it ain’t really “local” – considering I live 4,500 miles away from it.

NV: Favorite saying or slang term?
MR: For some reason I frequently say “awesome cookies” or “groovy beans” when I am excited about something.

NV: Favorite family activity?
MR: Playing 4-Square. Great game. Four players, four squares and a ball. Mostly it’s played by kids at school. We’ve taken it to a whole other level.

NV: If you weren't a performer, what would you want to do with your life?
MR: Astrophysics.

NV: If you had to live the rest of your life as one of Shakespeare’s male leads, who would it be and why?
MR: Yikes, does it have to be a male lead? So many of Shakespeare’s men lead such troubled lives and then die tragically! Can I be Ariel from The Tempest? Although played by females in the modern era, Ariel is actually an Elemental Being of the Higher Order, neither male nor female… and he gets to live forever!

NV: If you could date one of Shakespeare’s female characters, who would it be and why?
MR: I’d stay away from Lady Macbeth, that woman is TROUBLE. I’d love to take Titania out on a date, because she’s Queen of the Fairies and apparently throws great parties. But don’t tell Oberon, he’d turn me into a donkey if he found out.

UPDATE SEPT 2011: Matt and the rest of Reduced Shakespeare Company return to The New Victory Theater in October 2011 with new show The Complete World of Sports [abridged]

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