In Part 1 of a series of interviews with the cast of WSC Avant Bard’s production of Holiday Memories—a stage adaptation of two classic short stories by Truman Capote, “A Christmas Memory” and “The Thanksgiving Visitor—meet Séamus Miller.
Joel: Where have local audiences seen you perform recently on stage?
Séamus: I’m a Resident Actor at Chesapeake Shakespeare Company and a Company Member of Longacre Lea. I’ve worked with a number of theaters for the first time this year, including Avant Bard, Arts on the Horizon, Spooky Action, and Imagination Stage.
Why did you want to be part of the cast of Holiday Memories at Avant Bard?
I’ve enjoyed this company’s work from afar since I moved to DC in 2012, and I looked forward to playing alongside Christopher Henley’s Truman.
Who do you play in the show? How do you relate to him?
I play Truman Capote’s seven-year-old self, Buddy. He’s a—to quote the play—”sissy” who is continually tormented and misunderstood by those around him (save for his best friend, Miss Sook). I specialized in losing fights throughout my adolescence, so getting beaten up by the schoolyard bully feels pretty natural. The play is also, to me, a meditation on solitude; I think that resonates with a lot of people, especially around the holidays.
What’s the show about from the point of view of your character?
Playing a seven-year-old is great. You just want stuff. Being a seven-year-old is hard, because you don’t always get it.
What are your own favorite holiday memories?
I really liked Obama’s speech at the White House Christmas party: “Happy Holidays! Don’t steal the forks.”
If you could be granted one holiday wish, what would it be?
I would like Bernie Sanders to come down my chimney in a Santa suit and restore funding to arts education. I’m only half-joking; I’ve seen theatre make such a difference in young people’s lives. Everybody needs art.
What is your favorite line or lines that your character says, and what is your favorite line that someone else says in the show?
I love all the Deep South euphemisms and conversational omissions. There’s a cultural downside to that, obviously, but Capote often turns it on its head; he’ll act like he’s not going to talk about something and then talk about it for a page.
What are you doing next on the stage?
I’m directing an original adaptation at Chesapeake Shakespeare—UNSCENE (The Most Frequently Cut and Least-Performed Scenes in Shakespeare, Presented for Your Approval or Decapitation). You can also see me there in Wild Oats and Romeo & Juliet (as Romeo). Patrons with young children should come see me play an outer-space hip-hop clown in SpaceBop at Arts on the Horizon.
What do you want audiences to take with them after seeing Holiday Memories?
I want people to think about which relationships are most important to them.
Holiday Memories plays from November 25 to December 20, 2015 at WSC Avant Bard performing at Theatre on the Run – 3700 South Four Mile Run Drive in Arlington, VA. For tickets, call the box office at (703) 418-4808, or purchase them online.
David Siegel’s 5 star review of ‘Holiday Memories’ on DCMetroTheaterArts.
Meet the Cast of Avant Bard’s ‘Holiday Memories’: Part 1: Séamus Miller.
Meet the Cast of Avant Bard’s ‘Holiday Memories’: Part 2: Liz Dutton.
Meet the Cast of Avant Bard’s ‘Holiday Memories’: Part 3: Christopher Henley.
Meet the Cast of Avant Bard’s ‘Holiday Memories’ Part 4: Charlotte Akin.
Meet the Cast of Avant Bard’s ‘Holiday Memories’ Part 5: Devon Ross.