The first duo to be featured on ASBX! Faye Goodwin and Nick Popio discuss their roles in the upcoming production of THE MOORS at Manbites Dog Theater in Durham, NC. Faye and Nick dig into MOOR-themes of desire, desperation, visibility and distance, as well as the actors’ processes of character development, and the power of theatre to help us thrive.
Faye Goodwin has been involved with theater projects at Duke and in Durham since 2012. Her most recent role was Sonya in Life Sucks at Manbites Dog. When she isn’t working as an educator at the Duke Lemur Center, Faye keeps busy writing poetry and plays, and hiking around NC.
Nick Popio describes himself as barely trained, and learning on the boards instead of the classroom. Favorite roles include Nancy in Space Girl, Betty/Edward in Cloud 9, and Hamlet in Hamlet. In his spare time, Nick is a Senior Marketing Manager at Golden Corral, and specializes in social media and digital marketing strategies.
Produced by Manbites Dog Theater
A family quarrels. A governess arrives. A servant schemes. A hen falls from the sky. A hound hunts his prey. A tale of desire, intrigue, and the importance of controlling one’s own narrative, as spinster sisters author their release from the strictures of manor life. Jen Silverman’s decidedly modern take on the Romantics’ dark and brooding landscapes was a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize.
Featuring: Jessica Flemming, Faye Goodwin, Jessica Hudson, Tamara Kissane, Sarah Koop, Nick Popio
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[0:00] Episode intro and Faye and Nick’s bio.
[1:26] Synopsis of THE MOORS
[2:22] What are the defining features of a moor-hen and a mastiff?
[4:45] Actor process question: How do you embody these characters without “playing” animals on-stage?
[7:40] Faye and Nick perform an excerpt from THE MOORS!!
[8:36] Qualities that Faye and Nick love and relate to about their characters (and don’t love too)
[12:12] Jen Silverman, the extraordinary badass playwright, describes the Moors on her website as “a dark comedy about love, desperation, and visibility.” Discussion of those themes as they relate to the Moor-Hen and the Mastiff (and Tamara’s character, Huldey). What do we need from each other to survive and thrive?
[16:17] Given the themes of THE MOORS, which can seem a little heavy, why should people come see this play or come to see theatre in general? Quote from Jen Silverman from American Theatre Mag: “Of course the play makes use of hyper-theatricality, but I guess I don’t understand the separation between theatricality and emotional authenticity. I go to the theatre to be shown truths about myself in ways that are surprising, but that are nonetheless personal and true.”
[19:40] The moors (the environment/setting) as a character in this play. “This is a place built on distance.”
[23:57] The co-existence of the two storylines (people of the house v. animals outside)
[26:07] Actor perspective: In a cast of 6, what is it like to be relatively isolated, having scenes only with one other actor?
[28:05] Faye and Nick have never worked together before. How did they build this acting relationship?
[31:35] Are the wild ones the most civilized creatures in the play?
[33:45] Actor process: What do you draw from life outside the theatre that informs your approach to theatre-making and vice versa? “Oh, I could never do that” vs. “I could never NOT do that.”
[38:57] “Barely trained and learning on the boards instead of the classroom” — Nick, say more about that?
[41:44] Acting is only one element of Faye’s creative life — tell us more!
[47:14] Thanks and sign-off
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