In Part 8 of a series of interviews with the cast of The Little Theatre of Alexandria’s production of Charles Morey’s Laughing Stock, meet Lars Klores.
Joel: Where have local audiences seen you on the stage?
Lars: I’ve done most of my acting at The Little Theatre of Alexandria, though my most recent productions have been The Pillowman at Silver Spring Stage and “Black Hole” at Port City Playhouse. I’m also a magician, so audiences may have seen me doing that, particularly at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
Why did you want to be part of the cast of Laughing Stock at LTA?
I wasn’t planning to audition, but I got a text from my friend and castmate Kat Sanchez, who’s playing Susannah in this production, telling me that I was auditioning and that’s all there was to it. If you know Kat, you know I had little choice in the matter. Still, I read the script and found that not only was it hilarious, but there were moments of real depth and sensitivity which appealed to me.
Who do you play in the show? How do you relate to this character?
I play Gordon Page, the Artistic Director of the Playhouse. He’s desperately trying to hold things together while they inevitably fall apart around him. I think most of us can relate to that feeling.
What’s the show about from the point of view of your character?
It’s about the ineffable romance of the theatre. As Gordon says, “Telling stories in the dark on a summer night.”
Which character is most like you and why?
Well, I hope that Gordon is the most like me, but I suppose I also relate a little bit to Vernon, the lovable curmudgeon of the company. Both characters are in love with the theatre, but Gordon is the optimist, while Vernon is the pessimist. I think I have a little of both in me.
What did you perform at your audition? Where were you when you got the call that you had the role?
I performed a monologue from Orson’s Shadow, a play about Orson Welles. I felt that the character of Gordon was somewhat Wellesian — at least he imagines himself to be, so that monologue gave me a chance to show what I might do with the role of Gordon. When I got the call, I was having a post-audition drink with my castmate Kat, so we were able to celebrate right there. Unfortunately, she hadn’t gotten the call yet, so we had to drink to the hope that she was also cast in the show. Luckily, they called her early the next morning.
What have been some of the challenges you have faced preparing for your role and how has Director Shawn g. Byers help you through these challenges?
Well, the biggest challenge was learning an entire script, in which I’m in every scene but one, in two freaking weeks! Shawn made sure we were “off book” quickly. While that was quite a task to accomplish, I’m glad he held us all to it. Our performances are now able to really deepen with the scripts out of our hands.
What is your favorite scene that you are not in and why?
Well, I’m in every scene except one — the one where Vernon talks about how difficult it is for an actor to be on Broadway, but I love watching Tom Flatt act the part of Vernon, and especially so when he does that speech. It speaks to the heart of every actor’s dilemma: acting is so competitive, and good parts are so few, that actors must make real life sacrifices to pursue the craft they love. Tom does that scene so well, you can really sense the sadness and longing underneath the sarcasm and jokes.
What is your favorite line or lines that your character recites and what is your favorite line that someone else recites in the show?
My character performs scenes from Hamlet so there’s not much that can compete with that. Hamlet’s “What a piece of work is a man” speech is really one of the finest things ever written. I suppose that would be my favorite. As for someone else’s line, there’s a speech at the end of the play where some of the old theater veterans describe what it’s like to finish your first show. Those lines are so true and so brilliant, I think they’re among the most perfect pieces of writing about the theater I’ve ever heard.
What are you doing next on the stage?
I’ve written a play called Orson the Magnificent which is a one-man stage show depicting the magic of Orson Welles. A lot of people don’t know that Orson was a professional magician in addition to his other talents. In fact, he once that being called a great magician was one of the highest compliments of his life. The play is Orson performing a full magic show while telling stories from his life and from the history of magic. I’d now like to find a director to collaborate with me on making it into a real production.
What do you want audiences to take with them after seeing Laughing Stock?
I’d like for their sides to be aching from laughter, but also perhaps with a lump in their throat. Basically, I just want our audience to leave the theater injured, I guess.
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.
Meet the Cast of The Little Theatre of Alexandria’s ‘Laughing Stock’: Part 5: Ted Culler.
Meet the Cast of The Little Theatre of Alexandria’s ‘Laughing Stock’: Part 6: Hilary Adams.
Meet the Cast of The Little Theatre of Alexandria’s ‘Laughing Stock’: Part 7: Larry Grey.
Meet the Cast of The Little Theatre of Alexandria’s ‘Laughing Stock’: Part 8: Lars Klores.