‘Meet The Plaids’ at Olney Theatre Center Part 2: Chris Rudy by Joel Markowitz

Here’s Part Two of a series of interviews with the cast of Olney Theatre Center’s production of Forever Plaid.

Meet cast member Chris Rudy:

Chris Rudy (Jinx).
Chris Rudy (Jinx).

Joel: How did you get involved wit the the Olney production of Forever Plaid?

Chris: Bobby Smith approached me and drew me in with the touching story of the Plaids and the ideas and values behind being a Plaid.

Who do you play in the show and how is your character like you and different from you? Why is playing him so much fun?

My character is Jinx. He is a lot more shy and socially anxious then I am, but at the same time everyone knows what it’s like to be a ball of nerves at some point or another. Jinx is at his best when he is singing; music is the thing that really moves him, and I definitely understand that.

What did you learn about The Plaids that you didn’t know before you became involved in the production?

I didn’t realize how heavily the plot and the personalities of each character figured in to the music. It’s not just a jukebox musical – it’s a story if brotherhood, of mortality, and love.

Even though you weren’t born or lived in the 50s, do you like the 50’s music of the show?

To be honest, I have always been a big fan of music styles that we would now refer to as “oldies.” Aside from the obvious social inequalities, I would have loved to have lived in the 50s. I’m just a little old fashioned that way.

You appeared in Spring Awakening here at Olney. What fond memories do you have of appearing in SA?

Spring Awakening was a fantastic experience with wonderful people. I wish it could have run for months longer. The music was just so fun and moving.

Why do you think audiences love Forever Plaid 23 years after it opened?

The music and the themes of brotherhood and friendship are timeless and audiences really respond to it. I think it will be that way for years to come. It really is mostly thanks to the wonderful writing the script and and arrangement and selection of the music.

The Plaids: Austin Colby, David Landstrom Chris Rudy, and  Brandon Duncan. Photo by Heather Latiri.
The Plaids: Brandon Duncan, Austin Colby, David Landstrom, and Chris Rudy. Photo by Heather Latiri.

How has Director Bobby Smith helped you with your performance?

I think it would be difficult to find a director who knows much more about Forever Plaid than Bobby Smith. Having performed in and directed it many times, his personal stories about it and insights have been very helpful to us. Additionally, he’s always got us laughing which is great for building a sense of ensemble.

What has your Olney Theatre experience been like?

Everyone at Olney Theater Center has always very kind , welcoming, and respectful. That has impressed me from day one .

Why should families bring their kids and grand kids and spouses and relatives to come see you in Forever Plaid?

It’s the kind of show that has something for everybody: beautiful music, hilarious gags, but ultimately honesty, love, and a thoroughly entertaining night out.


Forever Plaid plays from August 24th to September 15, 2013. For tickets, call the box office at (301) 924-3400, or purchase them online.

‘Meet The Plaids’ at Olney Theatre Center Part 1: Austin Colby and Brandon Duncan.

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Joel Markowitz
Joel Markowitz is the Publisher and Editor of DCMetroTheaterArts. He founded the site with his brother Bruce to help promote the vast riches of theatre and the arts in the DC Metro area that includes Maryland, Virginia, and DC theater and music venues, universities, schools, Children's theaters, professional, and community theatres. Joel is an advocate for promoting the 'stars of the future' in his popular 'Scene Stealers' articles. He wrote a column for 5 years called ‘Theatre Schmooze’ and recorded podcast interviews for DC Theatre Scene. His work can also be seen and read on BroadwayStars. Joel also wrote a monthly preview of what was about to open in DC area theatres for BroadwayWorld. He is an avid film and theater goer, and a suffering Buffalo Bills and Sabres fan. Joel was a regular guest on 'The Lunch and Judy Show' radio program starring Judy Stadt in NYC. Joel founded The Ushers Theatre Going Group in the DC area in 1990, which had a 25-year run when it took its final curtain call last year. Joel is a proud member of The American Critics Association.