Onstage / TEN QUESTIONS FOR Christopher Avery
(Robert in EQUIVOCATION at Kavinoky
Christopher Avery had to switch gears quickly when TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD was cancelled.
What’s your relationship to this show?
This show is very relevant. Alternative facts, truth to power, and political influence on how history is written. It is such a dense show, and I get to work with some amazing people in the company. I am feeling very lucky with this one.
What’s the best acting advice you were ever given?
The best acting advice came to me through my undergrad acting teacher and mentor Gary Hopper at Virginia Commonwealth University. Play the stakes, play the tactics, and specificity, specificity, specificity.
What’s your best “the show went on” moment?
I have just had that moment, moving from To Kill a Mockingbird into 1984 at the Kavinoky. Absolutely, hands down, the most challenging position I’ve been in while working on a show. To go from Maycomb to anti-authoritarian in about two weeks’ time was intensely challenging for myriad reasons. As much as I would like another crack at Atticus, the whole process just reaffirms my affection for how supportive this community can be, and how the show must go on.
What’s the role that got away?
See above. Saying good-bye to Atticus and Maycomb was a tough pill to swallow.
What line from a former play have you never forgotten and why?
It’s still fresh in my memory, but it’s going to stay in there forever: “It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do.” - Atticus
What “against type” role are you dying to play?
I am dying to play more physically comedic roles. They can be so challenging, and I rarely get the opportunity to go out for roles like that.
What’s your classic actor nightmare dream?
I know what you’re asking here, and while those anxiety nightmares—forgetting lines, walking on stage unprepared, etc.—do happen, it’s pretty straightforward for me: having to quit or walk away from a project for one reason or another. Simple.
What audition would you love to do over?
Man ... all of them? I’ve had multiple auditions for film and theater where I look back and think I could have done things differently, or subjectively better. Just putting yourself out there for an audition can cause major anxiety. So, I guess we all deserve a pat on the back just for showing up prepared to the best of our ability and putting ourselves out there.
What’s the best thing you’ve seen this season and why?
I really liked Road Less Traveled’s production of The Illusion. I love their new space, loved the cast, and they really got after it. Tony Kushner’s dialogue didn’t hurt either. It was super refreshing to see the stakes being played at a high level.
Plugs for the rest of the season?
Just get out there and support local theater, film, musicians, and performing artists. Whether that’s here or somewhere you visit, get out and see what’s what. You may love it or hate it. Regardless, get some exposure to something other than what you’re comfortable or familiar with. Everything doesn’t revolve around the big venues and large cities.
Equivocation runs through May 19 at the Kavinoky Theatre, D’Youville campus (kavinokytheatre.com, 829-7668)
For more theater info, CLICK HERE.