Quotidian’s PR assistant, Lauren Katz, chats with Ian Blackwell Rogers, who plays Dmitry Dmitriyevich Gurov.
What was your first theatrical experience? Clowning, like literally trying to be a clown, under the awning at an aunt’s wedding, around age 6.
What appeals to you about the DC theatre community? What a great community! I’ve found it tremendously supportive, and friendly, and there’s a lot of spark to come up with good ideas. You work with people, and you want to work with them again, and you probably will. Fortunately, people seem to want to work with me again too!
How did you get involved with The Lady with the Little Dog? Chelsea recommended that I read for this project, and I liked it a lot. I felt it would be a good stretch for me. I could imagine the production, and I wanted to see how it would come together.
What’s different about this role/project for you? How does this rehearsal process differ from others? Well, I’ve been doing a lot of Shakespeare and other early modern verse plays, which demand a more presentational style. Lots of words; gestures and emotions are big; there’s a heightened quality. Here, we’re trying to say a lot while actually uttering a little less, if that makes sense.
What is most exciting about this play? What is most challenging? I think the answer is the same for both of these questions— the precision demanded as we use our words, our movements, our music, and the delicate interactions between people to create this world that we hope will be absolutely realistic, but not rigid in time and place. I love this style of work, but it is demanding!
Why should audiences come to see this play? I think there is a unique mood in the words, the Russian setting, and the music. The music! That’s probably the best short answer.