An Interview with Studio Theatre’s ‘Terminus’ Cast and Director: Part One: Nanna Ingvarsson, Dylan Morrison Myers, Katie Ryan, and Tom Story

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Katie Ryan, Dylan Myers, and Nanna Ingvarsson. Photo by Teddy Wolff.
Katie Ryan, Dylan Morrison Myers, and Nanna Ingvarsson. Photo by Teddy Wolff.

This is Part One of Three of a discussion with the cast of Terminus at The Studio TheatreNanna IngvarssonKatie Ryan, and Dylan Morrison Myers, and their director Tom Story.

Michael: Please introduce yourselves to our readers and tell us where we may have seen you on local stages in the past year?

Nanna: I’m Nanna Ingvarsson. This is my first time at The Studio Theatre, even though I’ve been acting in this town for close to 30 years now.

I know, I looked at your resume, and it looks like a dictionary!

Nanna: Actually, the last thing I did was a Factory 449 one-woman show called The Amish Project which I think was good training to do this.

Rick Hammerly runs that, doesn’t he? Factory 449?

Nanna Ingvarsson.
Nanna Ingvarsson.

Nanna: Yeah, me and director of Terminus Tom Story are actually both a part of that ensemble.

I recently saw Virus Attacks Heart at Venus Theater in Laurel, Maryland. It was a two-person show and the female actor was also a part of Factory 449.

Nanna: Yes – Karen Rosnizek.

I feel as though you guys are sprinkled everywhere around town.

Nanna: Yeah, we get around. Other than that, lately I’ve been doing a lot of shows for Constellation Theatre, some shows at Theater J, and a lot of shows for Scena. The last show I did for them was The Marriage of Maria Braun.

Tom Story.
Tom Story.

Tom Story: Well, I just did the world premiere of The Wolfe Twins here at Studio. This past summer I was in the remount of The Winters Tale at Shakespeare Theatre Company, and before that I directed Design for Living in the Berkshires in Massachusetts, where I worked a lot as an actor in the past and then came back as a director. This is the second play I’ve directed at Studio; I directed something at their Second Stage last year.

So, you went right into doing this from doing The Wolfe Twins?

Tom: Yes, I usually line things up back to back. But the great thing was acting in a play that I love so much and then going right into directing a play that I love so much. So I call it my “semester at Studio.”

I read, Tom, that you were originally from Northern Virginia.

Tom: Yeah.

I’m curious to know if you’ve seen the theater scene in Northern Virginia change since you were growing up? The DC theater scene has really exploded in the past 10 or 15 years, and I wonder if you see potential for growth south of the Potomac?

Tom: Well, I’m not sure how much I can speak to that, because most of my work is in DC, however I did do a play at The Hub Theatre Company. In fact, I first met Nanna in Northern Virginia when she was in college and I was in high school.

Wow, so have you guys worked together before?

Tom and Nanna: Never!

Tom: We barely even knew each other.

Nanna: We knew people who knew each other, so we’ve known of each other for a very long time, but this is the first time actually working together.

Tom: And I knew, when I read the play, that Nanna Ingvarsson was the only choice. And then she accepted the role, which was awesome.

Katie Ryan.
Katie Ryan.

Katie Ryan: My name is Katie Ryan Ryan and I’m playing “B.” I’ve been assistant directing a bit this fall at Theater J and Theater Alliance, and I acted in last year’s Source and Capital Fringe Festivals.

Dylan Morrison Myers: My name is Dylan Morrison Myers. I’ve been an actor here in DC for the past five years. I did do one show at Studio Second Stage some years back called Mojowhich was another British Isles script.

Tell us a bit about Terminus.

Tom: It’s a play that takes place over the course of one night, in and around the city of Dublin. Over the course of that night the three characters go through three separate adventures. One of them is trying to save a pregnant woman, another one goes on a date that ends horribly, and the third goes on a sick killing spree. Over the course of the play, the connections between these three characters are revealed.

Who you play in Terminus?

Nanna: My character is “A”. She is a mother. She is maybe unemployed but she volunteers for a good cause. And she is looking for a purpose in her life. And I think that’s all I want to say.

Can you relate to her?

Nanna: Yeah, as a mother you can always connect to other mothers. Also, the sel- reflection on the good things and bad things you’ve done in your life and what that means.

Katie: I play “B.”

Tom: Not like Bea Arthur.

It would be an interesting turn if Bea Arthur was featured in this play.

Katie: I wish… I am in my mid 20s, I live alone, and I’ve pretty much cut myself off from the world. Every day is pretty routine, and I’m at a very low point. I’m desperate for something to shake me up and make me feel alive again. I think we all have periods, especially working in the arts, where the monotony of the every day can get you down. So you search for something to excite you again. The extreme loneliness is something that I’ve been lucky enough not to experience – that’s been the challenge. But I think we can all relate to the feeling of needing something to wake us up.

Dylan Myers.
Dylan Morrison Myers.

Dylan: My character is “C.” He’s a guy in his mid 30s who has found himself in such a desperate place of isolation that he’s willing to sell his soul to the devil for an angelic voice. I don’t think he’s ever found love in his life. His desire is mercilessly distorted. How I can relate to that I don’t know (laughter) I mean, he’s a serial killer so…But I mean I often joke that the only reason I became an actor is because I never learned to play an instrument.

Oh, I thought you were going to say, “The only reason I became an actor is because I didn’t become a serial killer.”

Nanna Ingvarsson, Dylan Myers, Katie Ryan. Photo by Igor Dmitry.
Nanna Ingvarsson, Dylan Morrison Myers, Katie Ryan. Photo by Igor Dmitry.

Dylan: Maybe I would’ve become a serial killer if I never experienced love or art. All of these characters are at this desperate point of isolation, which I believe everybody’s experienced at some point in their life. It’s just a beautiful composition of these people who are unleashing there souls.

Why do you think the characters don’t have names?

Dylan: Because it doesn’t matter

Nanna: Yeah.

Dylan: These are just human beings. Giving the characters names wouldn’t help the audience understand who these people are.

Katie: It would make it harder. It’s such an unleashing of soul and you’re seeing such ugly versions of these people. They’re not hiding anything and you’re experiencing everything with them, so who cares what your name is?

Tom: I think that all of that is right. There are other names in the play of people they talk about. But they are narrators who are telling their own story; It doesn’t matter what their name is.

Running Time: One hour and 50 minutes, without an intermission.

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Terminus plays through January 4, 2015 at The Studio Theatre’s 2ndStage – 1501 14th Street NW, in Washington, DC. For tickets, call the box office at (202) 332-3300, or purchase them online.

LINKS

Review of ‘Terminus’ at The Studio Theatre. by Robert Michael Oliver on DCMetroTheaterArts.

John Stoltenberg on Terminus in his column ‘Magic Time!