Friday, 10 February 2017 10:12

Meet Two of the Women in The Road’s “WHITE GUY ON THE BUS”

Written by Don Grigware
Rate this item
(1 Vote)

The Road Theatre on Magnolia is proud to present the Los Angeles premiere of White Guy on the Bus by Bruce Graham. This scintillating play is directed by Stewart J. Zully.



Read the www.nohoartsdistrict.com review of The Road Theatre Company's "White Guy on the Bus."

This is an exerpt from the Don Grigware interviews of The Road Theatre Company members. 

"White Guy on the Bus" Show Synopsis: Ray, a white financial manager from an affluent neighborhood, has a loving wife and liberal family. Shatique is a black nursing student and single mom from the rough side of town. As they ride the same bus to the same gritty prison every week, they seem to be getting to know each other – until Ray reveals his shocking true purpose for taking these weekly rides. As the ties between Ray and Shatique spin into a complex web of moral ambiguity, revenge, and racial biases, they reach a stunning conclusion in this play the New York Times calls “a frank stare-down at racial perceptions today…an unsettling study in cultural disaffection that is likely to spark discussions afterward.”

Each week during the run of the play we will spotlight members of the cast and creative team. Featured actresses are Kacie Rogers and Teagan Rose.

Meet Kacie Rogers

Kacie Rodgers -The Road Theatre Company's "White Guy on the Bus" on www.nohoartsdistrict.com

What character do you play in White Guy on the Bus? How does that character serve the play?

I play Shatique who serves as the voice of African American culture in the play; more accurately, African American culture and the cross-section of lower socioeconomic class. She is only one person, so the extent to which she can accurately portray the full breath of a culture is limited but she definitely offers a perspective that is not, and arguably cannot, be fully understood by the other characters in the play.

Are there any special preparations you are making acting-wise to meet the challenges involved.

One of the things I found most fascinating about Shatique was the amount of time that she spends on public transit. Bruce Graham gave me the gift of coupon cutting and studying but I knew that there had to be something else she filled that time with. I decided that the one thing we never get from her in the writing is a way that she decompresses; something she likes to do. I decided that she sketches. Kacie is terrible at drawing, but Shatique is an artist with a pencil. I’ve spent some time honing that for her.

What is it like working with the rest of the cast and your director?

This play is not always polite and that is what makes it compelling. We were all forced to go to places and say things that we may have felt secretly or said in select circles prior, but now we are inviting an audience to witness it. Whenever you have a piece of this nature, it is so important that your cast is a family. It’s been wonderful to create a space of open dialogue on these issues with my cast mates and I think we’ve all learned plenty from the process. Stewart (J. Zully) was exemplary in leading the charge and making our rehearsals a safe place for whatever emotions, questions, and conversation the work sparked. Can’t ask for much more than that!

Kacie Rodgers -The Road Theatre Company's "White Guy on the Bus" on www.nohoartsdistrict.com

What do you believe is the message of the play?

There are so many. I think the cool thing about this play is that more than leaving you with a statement, it leaves you with questions. I believe there’s definitely a message about our society being a system and I think more than anything the play forces you to ask yourself what part you’ve been playing within it.

What do you hope audiences will take away with them?

A burning desire to educate themselves further on race, culture, the education system, and the prison system in America.

_______________________________________________________________________

Meet Teagan Rose

Teagan Rose -The Road Theatre Company's "White Guy on the Bus" on www.nohoartsdistrict.com

What character do you play in White Guy on the Bus? How does that character serve the play?

I play Molly. I think Molly is a girl we all know, see, and assume to understand in society, but shows how circumstances and fear can trap even the most well intentioned people in ignorance. She also serves as a perfect foil for Roz to educate and share alternative perspectives. Lastly, she serves as an interesting parallel to Shatique, in showing how women of similar age, going through similar personal struggles, can have vastly different outlooks and privileges based on skin color or circumstances.

Are there any special preparations you are making acting-wise to meet the challenges involved.

It has been a lot of emotional and psychological work. I have looked at some dark uncomfortable places within my own perceptions of race and racism in order to express Molly’s struggles in an honest way. I have also felt into the different stages of pregnancy, and with my cast mate, Crash, have spent these months building a sweet marriage between Chris and Molly, that (like many marriages) hits a wall of disconnect, lack of communication, and isolation.

What is it like working with the rest of the cast and your director?

This is an incredibly dedicated and intelligent group of artists. It has been challenging at times because of how passionately we all want to do this story justice, but man has it been fun. The through line has always been getting to the truth, and Stew (Stewart J. Zully) has been clear and pressing on that from the start, with a great sense of humor at the same time. I appreciate how each cast member approaches the work in such a different way, so when we come together, we are always learning and growing from each other each rehearsal and each show.

Teagan Rose-The Road Theatre Company's "White Guy on the Bus" on www.nohoartsdistrict.com

What do you believe is the message of the play?

Life is not black and white, it’s grey, but it’s more difficult to live in that. Each character has a moment of sitting in the discomfort of everything they know being challenged and feeling utterly alone and unsure of how to move forward. Unfortunately we see them fall back into what is the easier route in the short term to feel better about themselves, but not necessarily in the long term to become better people. I think this play confronts the ways in which we lie to ourselves and hide from the blatant truths of a systematic society.

What do you hope audiences will take away with them?

I hope audiences will leave with a desire to learn how to better connect, communicate, and empathize with people who are different from themselves. Doing the easy thing is not always the right thing, and pointing fingers is always easier than asking ourselves how we can do better. I love that this play may leave people with far more questions than answers.

See you at the theatre!


**** For information on Los Angeles theatre, tickets to theatre in North Hollywood's NoHo Arts District, theatre reviews, the NoHo Event Calendar, restaurants, news and local businesses in NoHo, or anything and everything about the NoHo Arts Community, bookmark nohoartsdistrict.com. Follow us on Twitter @OfficialNoHo. On Instagram @NoHoArtsDistrict and Facebook @NoHoArtsDistrict.

Follow NoHo News with Bloglovin

Read 568 times Last modified on Friday, 10 February 2017 16:05

Leave a comment

Do you have an event, video or news to share?  Drop us an email and you may see it on NoHoArtsDistrict.com