With opening night of The Suburbs just around the corner, get to know some of the incredible actors making these three world premieres come to life! Maya Carter, Ian Michael Minh, and Bridget Ann White generously share their insight, humor, and a window into their artistic practices.
What characters do you play in which of the three plays?
Maya Carter: Garcia (The Caterers), Passenger (Should We Dance Instead?)
Ian Michael Minh: Federico (An Education), Derek (The Caterers)
Bridget White: Clarisse (An Education), Paige (The Caterers), Joanna (Should We Dance Instead?)
What is a fun fact about you?
IMM: Before March 2020, my wife & I had been traveling cross-country and living in a 16″ travel trailer (google 16” Casita Spirit for pics). I’m living in it during our production too!
BW: I was a competitive gymnast
What has been your favorite part of the process thus far?
MC: Working and playing with this incredible cast! Everyone is making BIG, NUANCED choices, and doing marvelous exploratory work.
IMM: I’m primarily based in Chicago, where the theatre community is very tight-knit. Getting outside of that community and working with so many new faces has been so fun!
BW: The creative team, playwrights and cast
What are you most looking forward to in the rest of the process?
MC: I most look forward to experiencing how all the technical elements imbue the stories we are telling with even greater levels of truth and play.
IMM: Finally getting back to live performances!
BW: Having an audience
Why should people come see “The Suburbs”?
MC: To see the amazing work that our creative team and cast are doing! And to interrogate their relationship to, and place in, Ridgefield’s past, present, and imagined future.
BW: Because being inspired to think deeply and be an advocate for change is a worthwhile thing.
If your character made a playlist, what would be the first song?
MC: Garcia: I Want Love – Jessie J
What is your show-day ritual or warm-up?
MC: Stay hydrated. Eat what will fuel my body (probably something tasty from Organika Kitchen). Warm up the body + voice. Open myself to the story & to the folks I’m telling it with.
IMM: I don’t really have a set ritual, I try to just have fun with everyone involved and keep my energy up.
BW: Yoga and a singers vocal warm up
What is most exciting to you about a new works process?
MC: I love the way scripts evolve moment to moment/reading to reading/notes session to notes session. I love the way the cast and creative team get to engage in muscular discussion with the playwright in service of the text.
BW: the group effort of problem solving
What is one word that has described this process thus far?
If you were to be an animal, what animal would you be? What animal would your character(s) be?
MC: Garcia definitely has BIG golden retriever puppy energy.
IMM: I like to think I’m a red panda, do a search for red panda gifs, that’s me. Derek is a squirrel for sure, hungry & easily distressed and distractible. Federico might be an owl, I think.
What’s the last book/movie/piece of media that impacted you?
MC: So many. I am a voracious art-experiencer!!! I’m ALWAYS thinking/reflecting on/dreaming about Morgan Parker’s collection of poetry, Magical Negro. I return to the poems within often.
BW: The Paragon Hotel/Free Style Love Supreme
What kind of artistic work are you drawn to?
IMM: Works that tell stories we’ve left untold or undertold for a long time.
BW: Paint, Sculpture
What’s next on your reading/watch list?
MC: I’m currently working my way through Nicole Dennis-Benn’s novel Patsy (staggeringly gorgeous prose, vivid imagery, grabs your heart and doesn’t let go) and I’m excited to sit down and watch Miss Juneteenth, starring the inimitable Nicole Beharie, when I’m confidently off book!
IMM: Season 2 of Ted Lasso—it’s a lot of exactly what we need in this moment!
Art should be…
MC: Art should be political. Art should be personal. Art should be like coming home, and like leaving it all at the same time. Art should be a conduit of liberation.