Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Meet the Cast: Sky Seals (ANIMALS)

Sky Seals is a co-founder of Wide Eyed Productions. Company credits: The Medea (Jason), Much Ado About Nothing (Don Pedro), Jack and the Soy Beanstalk (Minstrel / Composer), Henry VI (Part III) (King Edward), and Goldilocks and the Three Polar Bears (Minstrel / Composer).  Sky has also directed, stage-managed, designed, composed and production-managed for Wide Eyed in its five seasons.  Sky appeared Off-Broadway in the Algonquin Theater’s Sessions: The Musical in the role of Dylan for the production’s entire 14-month run, and toured with Theaterworks’ The Mystery of King Tut last spring.  Sky’s score for Jack and the Soy Beanstalk has been published by Samuel French’s "Bakers Plays."  Sky is also exactly one-half of the acoustic comedy duo Neil and Sky, and has scored the web series White Liars. Currently seeking representation (and a sandwich). 
  • Sky, you were kind enough to interview with us during the run of A Girl Wrote It. Welcome back! You’ll be performing in our upcoming production of Animals for the New York International Fringe Festival. Can you tell us some of your initial thoughts about the piece? Do you feel ready to open tonight? 
I remember when Kristin sent the play to the Wide Eyed board, asking what we thought and if we should produce it. I read two pages and wrote back that I loved it. I think it was the male chauvinism and sexism that hooked me. Just kidding. It was the honest and poetic way Sam had written conversations that had sickened me in the past with my redneck friends. Characters like these really do exist, in the MILLIONS, and it's important to hold the mirror up to this kind of nature. As far as feeling ready to open...well, we'll find out today! 
  • You'll be playing a pivotal character in Animals. Can you tell us some of your thoughts on the character? What drew you to want to play him? 
As I just said, I've met this guy. Dozens of times. I've sat silently, listening to his bullshit, mesmerized by his charm and ability to get away with saying awful, destructive things. Just because he's a funny guy. I've sat wanting to be a part of his energy, seduced by it, until I realized that he's the enemy of everything that I believe in! He may not have actually destroyed anything himself, but he's done such a great job of justifying ignorance and hate and sexism, that he's convinced other, weaker people to do the destroying. He's the snake in Eden. Never at fault. And I think it's important for art to show us the enemy in no uncertain terms, so we recognize him in life. And I like to talk about doin' it doggystyle. :-) 
  • As a founding member of Wide Eyed, you've appeared onstage with the company many times, often under the direction of Kristin Skye Hoffmann. Can you provide some insight as to how this project is different in terms of approach? 
What's wonderfully different about this production is the new blood that has not only gotten involved, but has thrown themselves, their immense talents, and their...ahem...youthful energy into a Wide Eyed Production (I'm a bit older, and just trying to keep up). Kristin's new circle of friends at the New School for Drama is so fresh and exciting that I hope to work with them and see them grow and become successful firsthand. 
  • Our last forays into Fringe have found you not only performing, but also composing. Can you tell us about any musical projects you are currently working on? 
Of course you're referring to Jack and the Soy Beanstalk and Goldilocks and the Three Polar Bears - two successful children's shows, written by Jerrod Bogard and composed by myself, that premiered as part of Fringe Jr. Currently, Jerrod and I are working on a full-length rock musical about soldiers in the Iraq war. A much more ambitious piece, “Grunts” (working title) is still in the development phase. We've had two public performances of some of the material, and found that there is a great hunger for this brand of relevant musical theater. We're continuing to workshop our new material in the next year, and hope to have support for a full production very soon. I'm also about to begin work on the score for the 2nd season of White Liars, a web series produced by Wide Eyed company members Andrew Harriss and Neil Fennell. Check out season 1 on youtube.com!
  • We know you like to stay busy. Are there any additional projects in the hopper for you that you would care to share with us? 
I'm currently working on a project that is very near and dear to my heart. It's called NEVER HAVING TO WAIT TABLES AGAIN! Maybe you've heard of it...

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