Here is our fourth interview with the cast of Round House Theatre’s production of David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross. Today – meet Rick Foucheux.
Joel: Introduce us to the character you play and tell us why you wanted to play him.
Rick: Shelly Levene is the Dean, The Senior Salesman. Unfortunately, these are titles only he would acknowledge, and they exist purely because of his longevity in the firm. He is a good man with personal and professional problems — mostly of his own making.
How do you relate to Shelly?
I relate to Shelly mostly through his caffeinated hyper-speak which of course is present in Mamet’s dialogue. This feeds and is fed by Mitch’s direction and my desire to find where Shelly’s once-greatness as a salesman interfaces with his current extreme desperation.
I feel some similarities with Shelly. We’re about the same age, facing the same questions about past life and future life. And Shelly walks and talks like me. Imagine that. I also can relate to Aaronow, probably for similar reasons.This is a tricky question — especially at this point when I’ve worked on the play, rehearsed it and am already in the run — because I’ve been actively searching out those similarities and those intersections of his feeling with mine. One gets to a point where he feels he knows his character — and it can be hard to discern cause from effect. Is that the writer’s doing? The director’s? Mine? Or just a natural progression and response of the concentrated work on who these people – and myself – are.
What is it about David Mamet’s script that you enjoy the most and what scenes/lines were the most challenging to learn?
Interestingly, I usually find speeches in texts easiest to learn, and then let the dialogue scenes sort of come to life on their own in rehearsal. This script seemed a little different. I tried to learn the speeches beforehand, and found them very difficult, I guess because of the self-interruption/repitition/stuttering thoughts. Of course all line learning is tedious, but Mamet’s delicious word choice, sentence structure and mapping-out of “ordinary” speech is fun to play with.
What scene (s) that you are not in do you enjoy watching?
Awfully fun to listen to the other Chinese restaurant scenes. And Ricky’s tearing up of Williamson just before the final scene is very important to making the climax work, so I like being tuned it for that.
Have you worked with any of your fellow actors before and what do you admire the most about their performances in this production?
I’ve worked with most of these guys, and to be on stage with them here or anywhere else is a wonderful experience of joy and fun and bringing your absolute ‘A-game’ to the ball park.
What does Glengarry Glen Ross have to say to 2013 audiences?
I’m not sure it’s all that different from its 1984 message. Be careful what you place your importance on; the future must become the present; don’t throw people away.
What are you doing next on the stage after this show?
Next up for me is Aaron Posner’s reworking of The Seagull – Stupid Fucking Bird. Great script with another great cast; at Woolly with Howard Shalwitz directing. Late spring.
What do you want audiences to take with them after seeing Glengarry Glen Ross?
I think they do take with them a wide-eyed sampling of a classic American play and playwright. It all works here — passion, power, impeccable melding of theatrical elements. I hope they leave saying, “oh THAT’s the way it’s supposed to work. It was a short ride, but what a ride!”
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.
Part 3: ‘Glengarry Glen Ross’ at Round House Theatre: Meet Stephen Patrick Martin.
Part 4: ‘Glengarry Glen Ross’ at Round House Theatre: Meet Jesse Terill.
David Friscic’s review of Glengarry Glen Ross on DCMetroTheaterArts.
Read other local reviews of Glengarry Glen Ross in ‘Other Reviews’on DCMetroTheaterArts.