In Part 4 in a series of interviews with the cast of Death By Design at Greenbelt Arts Center, meet Colin Davies.
Joel: Introduce yourself to our readers and tell them what other shows you have appeared in and some of the roles you have played?
I’m Colin Davies, and I have lived in Washington, DC for almost 30 years. Recently I was in The Marriage of Maria Braun with the Scena Theater, and I have also done several readings with them. Next month I am the lead in a reading of Galileo at the Italian Embassy, and I am also in a Christmas pantomime with the British Players. I’ve performed with other companies including the American Century Theater and the Little Theater of Alexandria. So I’ve worked with both professional and community theaters.
Why did you want to be in Death By Design at Greenbelt Arts Center?
Who do you play in Death By Design and how do you relate to him?
I play Edward Bennett, a 1930s British playwright, in whose house the play takes place. He lives in the south of England, near Windsor, which is where I grew up. Over the years I have met several people like him, and I also see certain aspects of him (charm and wit, I hope!) in me.
What do you admire about your character and what do you not admire?
He is a Noel Coward type who makes a lot of Oscar Wildean witticisms. I admire his use of language but I do not care for his self-centeredness and his verbal cruelty towards his actress wife (who is played brilliantly by Jill Vanderweit).
What have been the challenges you have encountered while preparing for your role and how have you overcome these challenges? How did your director help you?
One of the challenges is that my character is so self-centered that he hardly interacts with the other characters, apart from his wife. I have worked with Ann Lowe, the director, to try and bring out his relationships with the other characters. Ann also brought in a wonderful dance teacher, Kristen Briscoe, KStar, to teach me to dance the tango!
What is your big highlight in the show and what do we learn about your character when you perform it?
For me, the highlight comes towards the end when my character and the audience realize that he really does love and admire his wife, and his earlier cruel words were nothing but verbal gymnastics.
What have you learned about yourself during this whole process?
I learned that the playwright, Rob Urbanati, a New York writer and director, of whom I had never previously heard, has written a very clever pastiche of both a Noel Coward comedy and an Agatha Christie ‘cosy’ murder-mystery. I also learned that every time I perform in a play I meet old friends and also a whole new group of very talented and fun people!
What do you want audiences to take with them after watching you perform in Death By Design?
I want them to be reminded of the fact that a well-written, well-directed, and well-acted one-set play can hold their attention and provide them with two hours of thoroughly-enjoyable entertainment!
Meet the Cast of ‘Death By Design’ at Greenbelt Arts Center:Part 1: Meet Jill Vanderweit.
Meet the Cast of ‘Death By Design’ at Greenbelt Arts Center:Part 2: Meet Sarah K. Scott.
Meet the Cast of ‘Death By Design’ at Greenbelt Arts Center: Part 3: Meet Shelley Rochester.
Meet the Cast of ‘Death By Design’ at Greenbelt Arts Center: Part 4: Meet Colin Davies.