Here is our second interview with the cast of Round House Theatre’s production of David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross. Today – meet Stephen Patrick Martin.
Joel: Who do you play in the show and how did you prepare for this role?
Stephen: I play Detective Bayen (I named him Frank, short for Francois). I created most of the backstory for my character from my imagination, but I grew up around policemen. My father was an honorary Deputy Sheriff of Cleveland County in Oklahoma when I was a kid. I also watch them on TV and in the movies.
How do you relate to Detective Baylen?
I’m probably more sensitive than Baylen, but more exacting. I have to say, he’s the character in the play that I am most like.
How has Director Mitchell Hébert helped you to shape your performance?
So, good-casting-kudos to Mitch Hébert as our Director. Mitch is an actor’s director. He is such a fine actor himself, he clearly applies his own acting experience to his role as director relating to us in ways that keep our needs and preferences in mind. And because he is follicly-challenged (sp?) he seems more open to hiring follicly-challenged actors. I really appreciate that. Five of the seven of us fall into that category, not including Mitch:). He’s also very smart and is a fabulous communicator with respect to explaining what he wants to see on stage.
What is it about David Mamet’s script that you enjoy the most?
The thing I enjoy most about this script is the way the men talk – to each other and in general. It’s very naturalistic. Having grown up working in an auto repair business, I am very familiar with this kind of banter. It’s men being men, even if they are socially stunted for whatever reasons. Their profane jabbing at one another underlies a deep level of comfort with the other, almost like siblings. In fact the competition of the office and the way they deal with it echoes of sibling rivalry, the most fundamental form of rivalry there is. They remind me a big of the chimps in the opening of 2001, A Space Odyssey, very primal.
What is your favorite scene? And what is your favorite line that someone else recites in the play?
I don’t really have a favorite scene, but I do wish I had more stage time with these wonderful actors.
One of my favorite lines is Roma to Aaronow, “Always tell the truth. It’s the easiest thing to remember.”
Have you worked with any of your fellow actors before and what do you admire the most about their performances in this production?
Each one is a consummate professional and brings his own force and imagination to his character in a way that makes you want to just hump in and play “pool chicken.”
I have had the pleasure of working before with KenYatta, Alexander, Conrad and Mitch. This is my first time on stage with Jesse, Jeff, and Rick, but I feel very much at home with these guys. It’s been a joy!
What do you want audiences to take with them after seeing Glengarry Glen Ross?
Hopefully audiences will come away from this play with a renewed sense of sympathy for what some people have to do just to make a living and be a bit less judgmental. I like stories with a redemptive quality about them. If Glengarry Glen Ross has one, it may be this: Your sins will find you out.
Part 1: ‘Glengarry Glen Ross’ at Round House Theatre: Meet Director Mitchell Hébert.
Part 2: ‘Glengarry Glen Ross’ at Round House Theatre: Meet Alexander Strain.
David Friscic’s review of Glengarry Glen Ross on DCMetroTheaterArts.