Friday, October 10, 2014

Meet the DEAD SPECIAL CRABS Cast: Andrew Harriss

Andrew Harriss is an actor and writer who has been a member of Wide Eyed Productions since its inception in 2007. Company credits include The Medea, Much Ado About Nothing, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest, A Devil Inside, The Last Days Of Judas Iscariot, Henry VI (Part III), and Plight Of The Apothocary in 2011’s A Girl Wrote It. Other credits include Gorilla Rep's Hamlet, The Jack Johnson Project, and All For Love with Boomerang Theatre Company. Andrew is also the writer, producer, and star of the webseries White Liars, and the short films The Friday Before Christmas, Moroccan Birdhouse (co-wrote), and Best Friends Club. He is originally from Irvine, California and holds a BFA from Hofstra University.
  • You’ll be performing in our upcoming world premiere production of Dead Special Crabs. What was your history with the piece before coming on board for the full production (if any)? Could you tell us a little bit about your last project?
I was asked by (director) Kristin Hoffmann to participate in a reading of Dead Special Crabs for the 2013 Wide Eyed WINKS reading series (season 1). She wasn’t sure which role she wanted me to read for, so I read the script on my flight home for Christmas, and by the time I got to page 37 I was like, “oh, oh, yes, I would very much like to play Walter.” So I texted Kristin as soon as we landed, and luckily for me she felt the same way.
  • How are rehearsals going? Can you tell us a little bit about the character you’ll be playing in Dead Special Crabs, and your favorite thing about this role? (No spoilers!)
Rehearsals are going well. Coming from the reading, which was now over a year and a half ago, it’s been interesting to expand on the choices that were made and to put Walter into a deeper context within the play as a whole. I absolutely love playing him. I think of any character I’ve ever played he has the most positive outlook on life.
  • This is a road trip play, and the leaves are starting to change, so we have to ask: What’s your favorite place to go for a quick road trip getaway on the east coast?
Well, I’m from the west coast, so my first thought is, “What is this word…fall?” which is ridiculous because I’ve lived here for almost 15 years. I just went to Boston for the first time and had a blast there. I don’t know, I love DC, and Vermont seems like it might be nice. I imagine you could probably get an amazing cozy fall breakfast in Vermont.
  • What’s your favorite work by Edgar Allen Poe? You know you have one.
I really like the version of ‘The Raven’ The Simpsons did. That pretty much sums up my experience of EAP.
  • And while we’re on the subject: Crustaceans. Friend or food? Allergies? Assuming you eat them, which is your favorite one to eat? Any restaurants we need to know about?
I could eat lobster rolls for days. Crab rolls, too. Luke’s Lobster does a great job at both of those. Are oysters crustaceans? The oldest tavern in New York City, The Fraunces Tavern, has a special on weekends where you can get a pint of stout and 3 oysters for 12 bucks. Beer and oysters in a place where George Washington used to hang out? Yes, please.
  • When did you know that you wanted to be an actor? How did you get started?
I have wanted to be an actor since I was about 9 years old. My mom signed me up for some drama-for-kids program at some local community center, and my first role was as a dog named Bowser who owned a pet shop.
  • Who or what do you consider to have been your biggest creative influences to date? Why?
That’s a hard question to answer. Everything? I generally take influence from whatever is going on in my life, or whomever I happen to be spending time with. John Ritter was a big influence on me, and Robin Williams. My family is an endless source of creative influence, too.
  • Are you working on any additional projects at the moment? Is it something you can tell us about?
I’m a member of Real.Good.Spies., Wide Eyed’s improv troupe, and I’ll be in a reading of Sam Byron’s play Butcher during one of our dark nights [at the TBG Theatre] when we’re not tearing it up with Dead Special Crabs.

Be sure to check out Real. Good. Spies. Improv Crabtacular on Oct. 23. All proceeds to benefit Dead Special Crabs!

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