August 21, 2019

Meet the Cast of Barefoot in the Park: Mark Woodard

What is most exciting about returning to the LDTC and Summit County? I am so very excited to be returning to LDTC after performing in La Cage Aux Folles in 2015 (one of the last shows done in the former theatre) I can’t wait to see the beautiful new space and perform again for the warm and responsive Summit County audiences. I am deeply honored and humbled to be asked to be a part of LDTC’s 25th Anniversary season, because the people who inhabit this company genuinely care about touching people’s lives through theatre and the art they make.

Can you tell us about your character? I see my character Victor Velasco as an eccentric, European (possibly immigrant?) denizen of NYC’s 1960’s bohemian W Village culture… he speaks unabashedly and freely and lives joyously and wholeheartedly with the spontaneous vigor of youth (which he’s trying desperately to hold onto),

What does Barefoot in the Park mean to you? I discovered Barefoot in the Park my sophomore year of high school when I was cast in one of Paul/Corie’s “fight scenes” we took to a high school thespian conference for adjudication. The way he writes, his gift for clever, natural (not to mention hilarious and quite often touching) dialogue is such a joy for actors. We received positive feedback on our scene, but the next year when I was cast as Felix in our fall production of The Odd Couple, I became smitten forever after with the genius that is Neil Simon. A couple of years later, doing a dinner theatre production of Brighton Beach Memoirs I was reconnected with the heart and humanity of his work, and now (30 yrs later) I am overjoyed to be reunited with this material from a completely different perspective.

What can audiences expect when they come to Barefoot in the ParkAudiences can expect to laugh (a lot) and be completely charmed by this infectious valentine to unlikely love in NYC.

What is the most challenging part of Barefoot in the Park? For me, the most challenging part about Barefoot in the Park (so far) is doing this kind of material without an audience.  I can’t wait to have people laughing and responding, because their feedback is so informative and integral to shaping the rhythms and timing of a show like this.

What is the most exciting part of Barefoot in the Park? The most exciting part of Barefoot in the Park to me, is the small size of our cast.  The immediate bond that’s forming with just the five of us is really special.  Working with such an intimate group adds a special sense of teamwork and camaraderie that’s very different than working with say, a larger cast musical where there’s many more people and other elements like big musical numbers to aid in the storytelling.  Here, we’ve just got each other (and the audience of course) and actually, a very small amount of singing.

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