In Part 1 of interviews with the cast of The Flying Muskrat’s Gruesome Playground, meet Ben Peter.
Joel: Where might DC theatre goers have seen you on stage before?
Ben: I’ve done a lot of work at South Lakes high school in Reston, VA. I received a Cappie nomination for Male Vocalist as Sonny Malone there. I’m excited to get going with the Muskrats, and break new ground!
What is it about Gruesome that made you want to be part of this production?
It had been about a year since I last performed when I auditioned for Gruesome, so I was itching to get back out there! This seemed like an excellent opportunity to get the ball rolling again, and I couldn’t have hoped for a better show to get going with. Gruesome is a very genuine piece- very true to life. I like that.
Tell us about your character Doug. How do you relate to him?
Doug and I are both very impulsive and accident prone. However, I don’t seem to enjoy the injuries as much as he does. I can bring a lot of myself into the character, and I like that- it’s very interesting to find the differences, though, and play around with those. I think that’s where the character can really come out; not in where I relate to Doug, but where I differ from him.
What’s been the biggest challenge in preparing for your role?
I’m nineteen years old. In Gruesome, I have to play anywhere from 8 to 30 years-old. That can be a challenge! It’s a fun challenge, though, and is really helping me grow as an actor.
What you admire most about Rajiv Joseph’s script?
It really manages to be a funny play, while addressing some really dark subject matter. I think that’s an extremely effective method to get people to actually ponder something, and that’s why I think people will leave this play thinking about the show for a while- because they laughed.
FMTC is a fairly new company, too. What do you admire about them?
I love working with the Muskrats! Everyone at FMTC is incredibly professional, talented, and fun to be around. I’ve made new friends as well as producing a professional quality show. That’s a win-win for me.
What the most exciting thing and the scariest thing about starring in a two-character show and having the stage to yourselves?
Being onstage from the start of the show until the moment it ends is a lot of responsibility, but it has proven to be an interesting new experience! Its certainly scary, but I think that it allows you to really stay in character better than you can in most other shows, and provides an excellent build. I also get the chance to create some very good chemistry throughout the show with Caity (who plays Kayleen).
If you had to convince one person to come see this production, what would you say to get them to buy a ticket?
It’s hilarious, bittersweet, and incredibly gory!
Gruesome Playground Injuries plays July 10, 11, 12, 17, 18, 19 at 8:00 pm at the James Lee Community Center Theatre-2855 Annandale Road, in Falls Church, VA. For tickets, purchase themonline, or at the door.
‘Gruesome Playground Injuries’ Opens July 10th at The Flying Muskrat Theatre Company