In my latest NYMFerview, "Call Me Adam" chats with Robin Skye & Steven Hauck about starring in 210 Amlent Avenue, written by Becky Golderg with music/lyrics by Karl Hinze, which will be making it's premiere in NYMF 2015 from July 9-14 at The Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theatre (480 West 42nd Street)! Click here for tickets!
In 210 Amlent Avenue, guests are gathering at the old Jordan estate in the Hamptons for Fourth of July Festivities with their host, "Mrs. Jordan," a retired actress. But one unexpected guest, "Judah," a young poet, will soon ignite a firestorm of events. In his search for the truth, he will unearth long-kept secrets that will lead to unexpected consequences. This compelling new musical is inspired by the stylish storytelling of Ibsen, Chekov, and O’Neill.
For more on 210 Amlent Avenue be sure to visit http://nymf.org/festival/2015-events/210-amlent-avenue and follow the show on Facebook, Twitter, and at http://www.210amlentavenue.com!
Robin Skye: It was the role. An opportunity to really sink my teeth in to a character with so many layers, with so much at stake.
Steven Hauck: I worked with Karl, our composer/lyricist, on another NYMF show, CROSSING SWORDS, which is one of my favorite theater experiences ever. I knew he was a musical genius and the score for the show would be amazing. I worked with Sami, our director, on a web series that was also a lot of fun. She has just the right balance of toughness and gentleness to be a good director. Plus I was attracted to the subject matter. We have such a love/hate relationship with the wealthy and privileged in this country. We resent them, yet we want to be them. The Hamptons appear to be a paradise peopled by those who have everything. But that's an illusion. That dichotomy is part of the dramatic tension of the show.
2. What do you identify most with about your characters?
Robin Skye: How incredibly fallible we are as human beings.
Steven Hauck: "Murphy" steers clear of the drama and enjoys life in the moment. He approaches everything with humor, enthusiasm and love. I wish I could say that I do that all the time; life is too short to let yourself get pulled down by guilt and fear.
Robin Skye: Hopefully an entertaining evening at the theatre.
Steven Hauck: The show combines the pulpy suspense of a soap opera with a more nuanced exploration of family dynamics. I hope that audiences will be entertained by the "bad behavior" of the characters and also think about the consequences of living with secrets and lies.
4. If you had to give people one reason as to why they should come see 210 Amlent Avenue, what would that reason be?
Robin Skye: To see, support, the work of new, young, writers, and watch this great cast I have the pleasure to work with.
Steven Hauck: You will be transported into a vivid world that is both idyllic and sinister.
Robin Skye: Well hopefully I will never stop searching for the truth. I find that I still discover something new every day.
Steven Hauck: My father is a Presbyterian minister. Both he and my mom were students at Princeton Theological Seminary when they met. The Presbyterian church is relatively progressive, but when I started to search for my own spiritual truth, I found another path. For the past 25 years I’ve attended Unity of New York, a "spiritual center for creative living." Unity emphasizes a personal, loving relationship with God, with none of the guilt and shame that even the most well-meaning religions seem to foster.
6. Continuing with this theme, What is a long-kept secret you revealed and in revealing that secret, what were some unexpected events that occurred?
Robin Skye: Haha. That's a secret.
Steven Hauck: The experience that leaps to mind is coming out as gay. The late 70's weren't a particularly open time for such things, at least not in Texas where I grew up. There were unexpected events of both acceptance and rejection. All these years and political gains later, I still have to remind myself that being openly gay doesn't mean I’m making myself a target.
Robin Skye: Being a part of a community that supports new work.
Steven Hauck: I've done two previous NYMF shows, THE HAPPY EMBALMER in 2009 and CROSSING SWORDS in 2013 (for which I won an Outstanding Individual Performance award, which was quite exciting). The festival atmosphere reminds me of the One-Act Play contest my high school participated in. Not only were we trying to put on the best show possible, we were trying to "win," as a production and as actors. The aspect of competition gives the whole experience an extra shot of adrenalin. Plus it's always a thrill to originate a role.
8. What's the best advice you've ever received?
Robin Skye: Follow your gut.
Steven Hauck: Put yourself first. When you empathize or serve, make sure you’ve taken care of yourself and are doing so from a place of wholeness.
Robin Skye: Teleportation.
Steven Hauck: It's gotta be flying. I used to dream about that all the time, though not so much lately.
10. If you could create your own signature drink, what would you call it and what ingredients would you put in it?
Robin Skye: Hmmm, not being my area of expertise, I think I'd need to consult a bartender on this one.
Steven Hauck: I have one. It's called a "Dead Ringer" and has red wine and Fresca. The name comes from a terrible/wonderful Bette Davis movie in which she plays twin sisters. The poor twin kills the rich twin and takes her place, only to be convicted of a murder that the rich sister committed. When you're not yourself, you can't win.
Broadway and National Tours: Parade, Les Miserables (3 companies), Sunset Boulevard, Cyrano-The Musical, The Tony’s, Broadway the Big Band Years (CamiI). Off-Broadway: Southern Comfort, The Butter and Egg Man, Joe’s Pub (NYMF Shows) - Tim and Scrooge, The Piper, To Paint the Earth. Regional - Williamstown, The Eugene O’Neil, Goodspeed, Barrinton Stage, Hartford Stage, Pennsylvania Center Stage. Film - Ithica (Meg Ryan Dir.) Beautiful Creatures, Freedom Writers, Living Out Loud (Richard Lagravenese Dir.), Split Ends (Dorothy Lyman Dir.) co-wrote the song "With You" with Randy Redd for the film Postman Pat. TV - The Divide, The Wire, The Tony’s, Third Watch, In Living Color, Life Goes On, The National Anthem at Wrigley Field, several Soap’s. Robin’s album House of Love is available on Amazon and iTunes.
Steven Hauck has appeared on Broadway in The Velocity of Autumn and Irena's Vow. Off-Broadway credits include One Arm (Moises Kaufman/New Group), The Screwtape Letters (Westside Theater), The Young Playwrights Festival (Cherry Lane), Crossing Swords (Outstanding Performance Award/NYMF) and King Lear with Paul Sorvino. Regional favorites are "Sherlock Holmes" in The Adventure of the Suicide Club (Cincinnati Playhouse), "Louis deRougemont" in Shipwrecked! (Penguin Rep), "Juror #8" in Twelve Angry Men (Engeman Theater), "Marc" in Art (Geva Theater), and "de Guiche" in Cyrano (Milwaukee Rep). Steven toured to Paris, Berlin and Vienna in Phantom of the Opera. He has featured roles in the films Oldboy and Da Sweet Blood of Jesus (both directed by Spike Lee), The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Confessions of a Shopaholic, and What Happens Next (opposite Wendie Malick). TV includes Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Elementary,The Good Wife, The Americans, Boardwalk Empire, and 30 Rock.