Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Q & A with Broadway's Alex Wyse (Part II)

It's always great to catch up with old friends! After seven and a half years, I finally caught up with a very busy friend of this site, Alex Wyse. Last week we got the ball rolling by chatting Bare, the Wicked National Tour, and his experiences on TV (including working with recently-in-the-news Ted Danson!). This week, we talk Waitress, being a Tony-nominated Broadway producer, the Deaf West revival of Spring Awakening, and his award-winning webseries Indoor Boys.

(Check out Part I HERE.)

Back to the stage now. We loved the Spring Awakening revival so much, we saw it twice! You could feel the love and respect between you all, just pouring off that stage. Do you still see or keep in contact with any of your castmates?

I am still friends with just about every person from that show.

What was that experience like? How was it working with deaf and hard of hearing actors? I bet you learned so much!

It was truly a singular event. I had never done anything like it before, and I doubt I’ll have another experience like that again. Even if I work with Deaf West again (and I hope I do), I can’t imagine there will be another Deaf West Spring Awakening… It changed almost every person’s life who was a part of it. And working with deaf actors was transformative. Simply put, they taught me how to listen in new ways.

Alex is part of a Squigs sketch!

Around this time last year, you did a stint in Waitress as Ogie. I’m interested in your take on the character. Personally, I found the character troubling...a stalker, perhaps. How do you hope the audience saw him?

I don’t disagree that there can be some stalker tendencies to Ogie when put in the wrong hands. But I hope my hands were the right ones! I did my best to soften the character and show the audience a guy who was goofy, in love with the idea of love, and maybe more clueless and heartfelt than single-minded about any kind of pursuit. Hopefully that came across.

Congratulations on being Tony-nominated Broadway producer! How did your association with the transfer come about?

Thanks! I saw the show downtown at New York Theatre Workshop and was so blown away by Heidi Schreck’s writing, performance, and call to action, that I started making phone calls on the show’s behalf. Just to tell people to see it, to tell other producers to transfer it, and then eventually, I got invited to the table in a more official capacity.

What about this piece moved you to invest?

It all happened by accident... I was just so fired up by the play, I didn’t realize I was becoming a producer until it was too late (cue harrowing music.) But it was one of the coolest experiences I’ve had in the theater, and I was so happy to help Heidi and the play along its journey. I plan on having many more producorial ventures in the future.

Finally, I have to ask about your Indie Award-winning series, Indoor Boys, which I have loved every single season of! How did you and Wesley come up with this concept? Are these characters based on you and/or people you know?

It all started when Wes and I were looking for a creative project to do to fill some time, Wes brought me a short play he had written, which we then adapted into the first episode of the series. We thought it could be a standalone sketch, but we had such a great time making it that we kept going and developing it as we went along. Though the events are fictional, the characters exist as caricatures of ourselves. So we have a lot of material to draw from, because no one can make fun of ourselves better than we can.

It looks like so much fun to do - has it been difficult getting such major players to join the project?

Usually the biggest challenge with casting is scheduling. But we’re so lucky to have such great actors like Carolee Carmello, Veanne Cox, Krysta Rodriguez, Noah Galvin, Sean Grandillo, Daniel K Isaac, Kyle Harris, and so many more join our cast. We’ve pretty much only asked people who are our friends, and thankfully we haven’t had too many rejections. Only the usual “I am out of town,” or “I have a show that evening.” But for the most part, actors want to act!

The “Easter Egg” casting thrills this theater fan, and many others I’m sure. Is there anyone you’d love to cast in future episodes that you haven’t cast already?

I love that we’ve created a platform where so many remarkable people can do just that. In the future, I want to work with Lesli Margherita, I think she’s a star. But we’ll see what kind of additional characters develop, and then we’ll dive into our phone books accordingly.

You wear many hats in putting this together - actor, writer, producer, director. Which do you enjoy the most? Why?

Of all the roles we take on during the show, I like editing the most. It’s another version of being a storyteller, except I get to wear pajamas. And there’s nothing more exciting than putting together the puzzle pieces of your labor.

Finally… will there be a Season 4???

We don’t know! Up next, Wes and I are developing a brand new project, but we’d be happy to return to Indoor Boys in the future. For now, you can check out all three seasons at www.indoorboys.tv

Recent projects have included Ride the Cyclone...

...and The Flamingo Kid

5 More Quick Questions from Our Readers

Favorite cocktail? Favorite dessert?
Dirty vodka martini. Molten chocolate lava cake

Best thing about living in New York? Best thing about living in L.A.?
New York- the theater community. LA- driving down the open freeway at night with the windows rolled down blasting top 40 radio.

Cast mate from your prior shows that you are still in contact with the most?
Wesley Taylor, Ben Fankhauser, Andy Mientus, Sean Grandillo, Preston Sadleir, Lenne Klingaman, Alex Boniello, Kathryn Gallagher, Krysta Rodriguez, and so many more amazing people. HOW DO I CHOOSE??

Person you’ve worked with that you think has a big future ahead?
Max Beer. He played my younger brother in Lost in Yonkers at Paper Mill Playhouse (above) nine years ago, and he’s going to be one of the best producers, writers, or whatever it is he wants to be, in the whole world.

Do you like black licorice? (I had to include this one - it made me laugh!)
Lol. What.

Thanks so much, Alex! Let's make sure we don't wait another seven and a half years to catch up!


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