In Part 5 of a series of interviews with the cast of The Little Theatre of Alexandria’s production of Charles Morey’s Laughing Stock, meet Ted Culler.
Joel: Where have local audiences seen you on the stage?
Ted: I played Russ/Dan in Clybourne Park at Greenbelt Arts Center, Vic in Funny Money at LTA, and Joe Benjamin in God’s Favorite at Montgomery Playhouse.
Why did you want to be part of the cast of Laughing Stock at LTA?
I worked with Shawn in Funny Money and wanted to work with him again. I like that LTA has 5 performances a week, so that a show has an opportunity to grow and develop a chemistry among the actors. I love the extensive support team at LTA.
Who do you play in the show? How do you relate to this character?
I play Richfield Hawksley, a loveable elder statesman of the theater group who is having memory issues. Like Richfield, I have reached senior status and have to work a little harder than I used to work to learn my lines and remember blocking, but in spite of that, like Richfield I love theater and want to continue as long as directors allow me to be on stage.
What’s the show about from the point of view of your character?
The show is about the comradery of a group of actors doing summer stock on a scratch budget, and all that’s right about their being together in spite of all that goes wrong.
Which character is most like you and why?
Richfield is most like me, for the reasons I gave in #3.
What did you perform at your audition? Where were you when you got the call that you had the role?
I did a monologue about a waiter at a fine restaurant who is explaining and complaining about the people with children who come in making unreasonable requests and leave having made a huge mess at the table.
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?
The biggest challenge for me is keeping the character’s reactions believable. Because this is farce and my character is often confused, it’s easy to over do it and become a caricature. Shawn encourages us to explore, go big, and play with our roles with the understanding that he will rein us in if we go too far.
What is your favorite scene that you are not in and why?
I love the audition scene (act 1 scene 2) because all the actors in it give a quick preview of what you can expect of them throughout the show, and they are all so very funny.
What is your favorite line or lines that your character recites and what is your favorite line that someone else recites in the show?
“When I did Howie with Thornton in Our Town–well all those props were imaginary–but I checked ’em and set ’em just the same. ” “”You cannot kill me with your crowbar– Your puny bar of crow.”
What are you doing next on the stage?
I have a few auditions coming up, but I don’t usually look at anything until I finish the show I’m doing.
What do you want audiences to take with them after seeing Laughing Stock?
The sense of having laughed a lot and feeling good, and an appreciation for why theater people love what they do.
Meet the Cast of The Little Theatre of Alexandria’s ‘Laughing Stock’: Part 1: Will MacLeod.
Meet the Cast of The Little Theatre of Alexandria’s ‘Laughing Stock’: Part 2: Director Shawn G. Byers.
Meet the Cast of The Little Theatre of Alexandria’s ‘Laughing Stock’: Part 3: Tom Flatt.
Meet the Cast of The Little Theatre of Alexandria’s ‘Laughing Stock’: Part 4: Abigail Ropp.