In Part 3 of a series of interviews with the cast of The Little Theatre of Alexandria’s production of Charles Morey’s Laughing Stock, meet Tom Flatt.
Joel: Where have local audiences seen you on the stage?
Tom Flatt: I’ve been kicking around local stages for years. Most recently, I appeared in Shining City at Port City Playhouse and Caroline, or Change at Elden Street Players (now NextStop Theatre Company)
Why did you want to be part of the cast of Laughing Stock at LTA?
I thought it was hilarious and also an affectionate look at putting together theater on a shoestring.
Who do you play in the show? How do you relate to this character?
I play Vernon Volker, a bitter 30-year veteran who never quite hit the big time. I like his wit and although I’m not bitter, I appreciate his frustration (as all actors do).
What’s the show about from the point of view of your character?
After disaster, applause!
Which character is most like you and why?
I tend to think of myself more like Gordon, the artistic director, but I have some Vernon in me too.
What did you perform at your audition? Where were you when you got the call that you had the role?
I was auditioning for Gordon and Vernon, so I did a short monologue from Noises Off as each of the characters. I was at work when I got the call, from a longtime friend, Jamie Blake, one of our producers. I was grateful and elated!
What have been some of the challenges you have faced preparing for your role and how has Director Shawn Byers help you through these challenges?
Shawn has a good eye for helping me strike a balance so that Vernon is not mean. He’s just honest. It’s always tricky to pull off that balance when the character says some awful things.
What is your favorite scene that you are not in and why?
There are so many talented people in the cast, it’s hard to pick just one. I love watching these actors from the wings.
What is your favorite line or lines that your character recites and what is your favorite line that someone else recites in the show?
This one changes nightly, but right now it’s a line from Gordon, played by Lars Klores. It’s in the middle of one the rehearsal scenes: “But funny inner rage and torment, right?” In context, the line is hilarious, but Lars’ delivery and Kat Sanchez’s reaction really nail it. Gets me every time.
What are you doing next on the stage?
I don’t have any acting gigs on the horizon, but will co-directing a production of Lady Day at the Emerson Bar and Grille, starring my friend, the incomparable Anya Nebel!
What do you want audiences to take with them after seeing Laughing Stock?
Sore cheeks and sides from laughing so hard and long. And an affection for the crazy folks who make theater magic.