Being on the stage in front of an audience begging to be entertained or moved or challenged, and knowing that at any moment everything you've rehearsed could go out the window is… well, a terrifying place. Joel Lewis has a healthy respect for this fear and an irrational need to run toward it. Below are a few examples of his bouts with live theatre.
In January - February 2008, performed David Gow's play for The New Jewish Theatre in St. Louis. A two person show of this intensity will keep you honest and on your toes. I played a Jewish lawyer whose defense of a neo-nazi skinhead lays bare the assumption we all have about our tolerance and capacity for violence. I wouldn't call it a comedy. more
In October 2007, I returned to Muddy Waters Theatre for my fumbling through of another classic. Alcoholism, sexuality, social morees, this one has got them all. I can't say I ever felt like I really took a hold of the piece. There's an intersection of poety and action in all Williams' work that is not always kind to the actor.
Performed in February 2007 for Muddy Waters Theatre in St. Louis, this will be the second opportunity I had to tackle this beast of the modern American stage. The challenge for a role as seminal as Biff was the sincerity of the moments and the connections on the stage. A play of this caliber cab eat you alive if you worry about 'acting' the part. It's back to basics here. More
I'm rarely drawn to the classics, but the Orange Girls and the production's director shook me out of my self-important tree. It helped that it was set in the modern day and dealt with issues like divorce, female empowerment and Andrea Yeats. It performed June 21st-June 25th, June 28th-July 2nd at the AE Hotchner Studio Theater at Washington University. more
Performing in this existential classic was a serious exercise in keeping control of the language. I frankly have no idea if I managed to wrangle it or if it spit me out the other end. Regardless, it was worth it for no other reason than to have the honor of saying "Hell is other people." I think I said that anyway. more
This was and remains one of my all time proudest moments in live theatre. Set against the backdrop of sectarian conflict in Northern Ireland, this play embodied what every actor, and I would think every audience member, hopes to experience in the theatre. Read the review for a more eloquent assessment, but for me, I can only hope to find more experiences like this.