Bruce Warren is thrilled to return to TheatreSquared in The Quest for Don Quixote and The Dingdong, after chewing up the scenery last season in Around The World in 80 Days. Before that, Bruce appeared as a member of the All-Star Broadway Men’s Chorus in the concert of I AM HARVEY MILK at Avery Fisher Hall, starring Andrew Lippa and Kristin Chenoweth. Off-Broadway credits include The Road to Qatar! (Farid / Claudio) at the York Theatre—Original Cast Recording. Bruce has also toured North America on productions such as The Wizard of Oz, 25th Anniversary Cats and
Oklahoma! He holds a BFA in Musical Theatre from Ithaca College.
How did you get involved with the Arkansas New Play Fest?
I first worked with the incomparable Mark Shanahan and the incredible Mark Brown about a year and a half ago on the World Premiere of Brown's hilarious adaptation of Henry Fielding's TOM JONES, also directed by Shanahan (and recently published by Dramatic Publishing). What can I say? Making a play with these guys is just TOO FUN!! Shortly thereafter, I jumped at the chance to follow Shanahan to TheatreSquared for last season's production of Brown's biggest hit, AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS. We all reconvened when Brown came down here to visit Fayetteville and see the show (although, he probably only came for Cracker Barrel and killer BBQ).
Is this your first time working in Arkansas? How do you find it? Expectations vs. Reality?
I'm now a Fayetteville super fan!! Years ago, I played the Walton Arts Center with the North American Tour of THE WIZARD OF OZ. It wasn't until my time with TheatreSquared that I really fell in love, though. Who knew this amazingly supportive community of artists was tucked away in NW Arkansas?!
How does working on a play in development compare to working on a published script?
Working on a play in development is the absolute best! As an actor, there's nothing better in the world than bringing a show to life for the first time - ever! Being involved with a brand spankin' new work of art as it's birthed into the world is better than Disney World!
Do actors need to have a different kind of skill set to work on a play in development (new pages everyday)?
It's the same exact set of skills; maybe just on steroids? It's just an expression—I've never tried steroids, seriously! One always has to be amenable to change and hopefully in line with the writer's and director's visions, but in this case, you've gotta' be able to make those adjustments and/or catch up crazy fast!
How do you think the Arkansas New Play Fest compares to other new play development workshops that you have been part of in the past?
This experience has proven to truly be process oriented. Many times, a new show will ultimately be aimed at results (a lot of backer's auditions to find investors and/or producers). In this festival, it's totally all about the collaboration between all artists involved to discover the organic essence of a new work. How refreshing!!