In part two of a series of interviews with the cast of McLean Community Players’ Unnecessary Farce, meet Bob Sams.
Joel: Please introduce yourself and tell our readers where they may have seen you on local stages and what roles you have played.
Bob: I’m Bob Sams. For the last few seasons I have been working as a director. I directed this season’s Calendar Girls and last season’s The Game’s Afoot for MCP. The season before that I did The Cover of Life for Bowie Community Theater. As an actor for MCP I have been seen in It’s a Wonderful Life, Social Security, and as Richard Nixon in Frost/Nixon for which I received a WATCH nomination.
Have you appeared in a farce before? Why did you want to be part of Unnecessary Farce?
I am not a stranger to farce. For several years I was in the company of Maryland Traveling Repertory Theater which had several farces in its offerings, most prominently Not Now, Darling. I appeared in that on MULTIPLE occasions. I wanted to be in Unnecessary Farce not just because it is so funny, but because of the challenge of doing farce properly.
How does farce differ from comedy? Is it more difficult from an actor’s point of view?
An old director of mine once referred to farce as “Comedy with its pants on fire.” It is a character attempting to accomplish something and having everything get in the way, rapidly and unexpectedly. All comedy is difficult. With farce there is the added problem of maintaining “farce speed” while making sure that all necessary information is intelligibly conveyed to the audience.
Who do you play in the show, and how do you relate to your character? Does this character have any of your personality or character traits?
I play Mayor Meekly. He is a man who seems to exist in a state of pleasant obliviousness. He is a kind gentle soul. To play him I have had to send out a search party to locate the better angels of nature.
What is your favorite line in the show?
There are a great number of exchanges which vie for “favorite lines.” Favorite non-spoilers are, “No, it’s the right room. I’m certain. There’s donuts.” And “But I’m not wearing any pants! Neither is he!”
What have been some of the challenges you have had during rehearsals, and how did Director Jessie Roberts help you with these challenges?
Timing and pace are crucial in this show. Jessie has been vitally important in helping us achieve and maintain these elements using a supportive, collaborative, clear-eyed approach.
What has impressed you most about your fellow cast members?
This cast has been notable for its intelligence, insight and willingness to work together.
What do you want audiences to take with them after seeing you perform in Unnecessary Farce?
Sore ribs from laughing.
Unnecessary Farce plays from April 29-May 14, 2016 at McLean Community Players performing at The Alden Theatre – 1234 Ingleside Avenue, in McLean, VA. For tickets, buy them at the box office, or purchase them online.
Meet the Cast of McLean Community Players’ ‘Unnecessary Farce’: Part 1: Marilyn Pifer.
Meet the Cast of McLean Community Players’ ‘Unnecessary Farce’: Part 2: Bob Sams.