Published on January 29th, 2016 | by Biz Books
The Biz Interview: Carl Kennedy
Common Grace is the latest effort to hit the stage at Pacific Theatre. A family drama about a woman’s return home after the death of her father, the play is directed by Ron Reed and boasts a talented cast – including Shauna Johannesen (who also wrote it), Kerri Norris, Carl Kennedy, Rebecca deBoer, Cara Cunningham, Robert Garry Haacke, and Julie Lynn Mortensen.
We caught up with Carl Kennedy to find out more about Common Grace and what he brings to the production.
What is your involvement with Common Grace?
I will be portraying the role of Pastor “Dan”.
What drew you to be a part of this production?
First and foremost, Pacific Theatre feels like family. My first show in Vancouver (Jesus Hopped the A Train) was at Pacific Theatre. It’s always exciting to work on a new play. Now, add the fact that we actually have the opportunity to (not only interact), but share the stage with the playwright. How many times in life will an opportunity like this present itself?
Can you share some of your creative process in preparing for the role – from the initial planning all the way to opening night?
I will be portraying a pastor in the show, so my first reference was the word of God – The Bible. I was drawn to Galatians 5:22-23 – “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” Often – in life – we listen to respond. I feel that its Dan’s aim to listen in order to gain understanding. Dan is obviously a friend of the family, so it’s important to create a solid backstory with every member of the family. Also, using improvisation in the rehearsal process as a tool will help strengthen the relationship structure/dynamic.
What should audiences expect from this show?
This play is a hearty stew, filled with love, loss, anger, resentment, shame, compassion and forgiveness (stirred with the ladle of life altering decisions) If not carefully watched, the pot will boil over.
What are the three most important ingredients for a successful stage production?
For this question, you have to go back to the basics. The three ingredients essential to a stage production would be the players on stage, a well written story and a captive audience. With this particular production, I feel that the audience will feel like a part of the family – a part of the community by the time the play is over. The chairs in the audience will feel like living room furniture – the awkwardness of crossing to the refrigerator for a glass of milk will be palpable.
Are there any books or authors that have been influential to you so far in your creative journey?
The Six Steps by Uta Hagen readily comes to mind. It’s important to note that acting is “action” so my training at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington (BA in Theatre) and the University of Washington (MFA in Acting) has been indispensable to my growth as an actor.
What is the most important lesson you have learned so far in your career?
What’s meant for you is for you and no one else. You’re only competing with yourself.
What other projects do you have coming up and where can people find out more about you online?
I’ll be performing in The Sunset Ltd at Rosebud Theatre from July 8th to August 27th.
Our thanks to Carl Kennedy for speaking with us!
Common Grace is now on at Pacific Theatre until February 14th, 2016. Visit PacificTheatre.org for ticket information!