You know me as the bow tie wearing kid running around the city taking pictures and covering events, but what you might not know is that sitting next to my bachelor of science degree is a bachelor of art degree (both collecting dust mind you) But with that Theatre Prodcution / Performacne degree, I've spent time dabbling on stage and backstage of dozens of productions, but my all time favorite role was / is Keno The Stripper in The Full Monty (actually my last role on the stage!)
So when I heard Players Club of Swarthmore was mounting a production of TFM, I knew I needed the inside scoop. That's when things got exciting, turns out the gem of a man (Robert Harris) that directed my production of Full Monty, was one of the 6 main leads in this upcoming production! (insert circle of life reference)
I got a chance to talk to Set designer Derek Jay Ross (DJR), and actors Robert Harris (RH) and Brian Seaman (BS) about their upcoming gig!
1. Whats your background as it relates to you being on stage // involved with this production?
RH: I have a degree in musical theater. I've played Horse at 4 different theaters, and directed/choreographed it twice. Anne Marie asked me to audition and I love the show, so I couldn't pass up the opportunity to perform it again.
BS: I have not acted on stage in nearly a decade, but I was coerced back by two of my oldest friends in the world – Anne Marie Scalies and Robert Harris.
DJR: My boyfriend Eddie brought me into Players Club to help build two years ago and the rest is history. Since then I've been helping with set construction, stage crew and productions at Players Club but, never as the Set Designer. Anne Marie asked me if I wanted to be part of the production and I jumped at the opportunity.
2. In your opinion, what makes this production worth the drive / train ride to Swathmore?
RH: Swarthmore is actually pretty close. About 20 mins from center city in good traffic. it's worth it for the free g-strings.
BS: Players Club of Swarthmore is, in my opinion, the best and most professional community theater in the Philadelphia area. It's definitely worth the ride
DJR: It's totally worth the trip! The Players Club has producing shows for over 100 years and it's truly a unique space in the Philadelphia area for theater. As to this production, the set is gorgeous, if I do say so myself and you get to see some boys bare it all!
3. How naked do you actually get? Was it 'hard' being naked with strangers outside a grinder date?
RH: We haven't rehearsed going the Full Monty yet, so I guess we'll see.
BS: Fortunately, I am on stage with an amazing group of guys, so I'm not feeling pressure (yet). I might feel different when my mom shows up with all of her friends.
DJR: The set is a perfect back drop for dropping drawers. Fortunately as set designer I have to watch rehearsals to make sure there are no obstructions for the audiences view.
4. So, you're gay, and 90% of our readers are too, and they're gonna ask… Are you single?
RH: I'm single and my stripper technique is on point!
BS: I am very happily taken by Steve Del Mauro. He plans on attending at least one show a weekend to pick up some dance moves.
DJR: Taken and madly in love but, I can't help being a flirt. I'll happily take anybody on a personal tour of the set.
5. Whats been the biggest challenge of this show for you?
RH: The biggest challenge has been the rehearsal process. We don't rehearse enough for me. I prefer being immersed with 6 naked dudes at least 4 nights a week.
BS: This is, by far, the biggest role I have ever played. It's going to take some stamina (Full Monty pun fully intended).
DJR: Biggest challenge has been balancing my vision with the practical needs of the director and the actors. Taking my plans, drawings and ideas and translating them into the space where actors need to dance and sing has been a very interesting/challenging/awesome experience.
Ready to see the boys drop their pants while conveying a heart warming story? Get more details // tickets here –