In Part 7 of a series of interviews with the cast of WSC Avant Bard’s production of Friendship Betrayed—a classic comedy by Spanish playwright María de Zayas y Sotomayor—meet Brendan Edward Kennedy.
Joel: Where have local audiences seen you perform recently on stage?
Brendan: Most recently, I played Thurio and Pantino in Annapolis Shakespeare Company’s production of The Two Gentlemen of Verona. Earlier this year, I also played Lorenzo in Baltimore Shakespeare Factory’s production of The Merchant of Venice, performed for the first time in Original Pronunciation.
Why did you want to be part of the cast of Friendship Betrayed at Avant Bard?
I knew Avant Bard put on excellent, thought provoking productions and I wanted (so badly) to be a part of that action. Finding out I was cast was an absolute thrill. Any show that has me smiling so much in rehearsal that my face hurts is bound to be a good one. I owe so much to our director Kari Ginsburg for believing in me and making me a part of this lovely cast..
Who do you play in the show? How do you relate to him?
I play Gerardo, Marcia’s (Megan Dominy) spurned, scorned, long-time-underdog of a suitor. With all his pining, his yearning, and his unshakable belief in Love… Gerardo is basically who I was back in high school.
What’s the show about from the point of view of your character?
This show is about how much anxiety and turmoil Gerardo will endure to be with the woman he really, truly loves. Spoiler: it’s an onslaught.
Kari Ginsburg, the director, has set Friendship Betrayed in the 1920s. How are you creating a classical character with Roaring Twenties appeal?
It’s been a challenge, because Gerardo is an old-school romantic in a world that’s unsure if it wants romance at all. He’s the stuff of earlier times, an old soul, but he’s out to prove that that kind of moral fiber can be just as strong in the modern era. Me, I’m just giving him a body and a voice to do that.
What is your favorite scene that you are not in and why?
Any scene with Fenisa (Melissa Marie Hmelnicky) and Lucia (Mary Myers) is good in my book. The clash of their wildly different philosophies cracks me up, especially later in the play.
What is your favorite line or lines that your character says, and what is your favorite line that someone else says in the show?
Gerardo promises to give Marcia “the entire world by transforming [her] into the dawn,” which I think is very Pablo Neruda of him. I also love how earnestly Laura (Daven Ralston) declares her woes: “Oh, I am unfortunate! I am so sad!” It’s adorably tragic.
What are you doing next on the stage?
Next spring I will be joining Annapolis Shakespeare’s resident acting company for the 2016 season, playing Kulygin in Chekov’s Three Sisters as well as Paris and Gregory in Romeo and Juliet. Personally, I’m excited to explore this career arc of “perpetually-rejected love interest.”
What do you want audiences to take with them after seeing Friendship Betrayed?
I’d like them to think about just how complicated matters of Love and Lust can be, and how easy it can be to mix the two up.
Also, if they could take their personal items with them, that’d be great. We don’t want anyone leaving their keys or cell phones in the theater by accident.
Friendship Betrayed plays through October 11, 2015 at WSC Avant Bard performing at Gunston Arts Center, Theatre Two – 2700 South Lang Street, in Arlington, VA. For tickets, call the box office at (703) 418-4808, or purchase them online.
Meet the Cast of Avant Bard’s ‘Friendship Betrayed’: Part 1: Alani Kravitz.
Meet the Cast of Avant Bard’s ‘Friendship Betrayed’: Part 2: Daven Ralston.
Meet the Cast of Avant Bard’s ‘Friendship Betrayed’: Part 3: James Finley.
Meet the Cast of Avant Bard’s ‘Friendship Betrayed’: Part 4: Melissa Marie Hmelnicky.
Meet the Cast of Avant Bard’s ‘Friendship Betrayed’: Part 5: Zach Roberts.
Meet the Cast of Avant Bard’s ‘Friendship Betrayed’ Part 6: Connor J. Hogan.
Meet the Cast of Avant Bard’s ‘Friendship Betrayed’: Part 7: Brendan Edward Kennedy.